Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today announced an agreement to include drug price negotiation in President Biden’s Build Back Better legislation. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:
I am pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached to lower prescription drug prices for seniors and families in the Build Back Better legislation.
Fixing prescription drug pricing has consistently been a top issue for Americans year-after-year, including the vast majority of both Democrats and Republicans who want to see a change because they simply cannot afford their medications.
We’ve heard this from people across the country who have serious illnesses and can’t afford their medicine. What a painstaking position to be in. It’s horrible.
Today, we have taken a massive step forward in helping alleviate that problem. By empowering Medicare to directly negotiate prices in Part B and Part D, this deal will directly reduce out-of-pocket drug spending for millions of patients every time they visit the pharmacy or doctor.
It will cap out-of-pocket spending at $2,000 per year, ending the days where a life-changing diagnosis could mean thousands upon thousands of dollars in new expenses.
And it will reform the entire industry to stop price gouging and change both drug company and health insurer incentives to make sure our country’s drug pricing system benefits patients, not corporations.
I want to thank many of my colleagues who worked on this. Senator Klobuchar who is here, and Senators Wyden, Murphy, Cortez Masto, Bennet, and Kelly.
Senators Shaheen, Hassan, and Smith for their leadership on insulin. The price of insulin will go down from $600 to $35 [per month]. Which is where it should always have been if the proper laws had been in place.
And Senator Sinema has told me she supports this agreement, so I think we’re there. It’s not everything we all wanted. Many of us would have wanted to go much further. But it’s a big step in helping the American people deal with the price of drugs.
Finally, Senator Wyden had done years of work on this issue and helped develop many of the proposals in this package.