The high and rapidly rising price of prescription drugs has put a tremendous strain on Arizona patients, taxpayers and the economy as more families are forced to spend more of their hard-earned paychecks on medications than goods and services. Meanwhile, prices show no signs of slowing down as Big Pharma continues to utilize a host of anti-competitive and price-gouging tactics in order to keep prices high and place profits over patients. In fact, over the last five years, prescription drugs have increased at 10 times the rate of inflation. And in just the first half of this year, brand name drug manufacturers raised the list price of almost 3,500 drugs. This is unacceptable and it’s time for our Republican leaders in Congress to stand up to these companies by promoting market-based solutions to hold these companies accountable and lower prices.
Luckily, Senator McSally has a chance to keep her campaign promise and deliver relief for Arizona patients and taxpayers by supporting The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019. This bipartisan bill has already passed out of the Senate Finance Committee and includes a number of market-based solutions that would boost transparency and keep prices in line with inflation. This legislation would also provide much needed reforms to Medicare Part D by capping out-of-pocket costs for seniors and including a market-based incentive for Big Pharma to keep prices low by shifting significant liability to drug makers in the catastrophic phase. And according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, taxpayers would save $100 billion under this legislation. Senator McSally must act now before this crisis gets any worse.