Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3 – the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. Chairman Henry Waxman released the following statement in support of the bill’s passage:
“I applaud the House of Representatives and Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the passage of H.R. 3 – the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. It is a truly momentous day, as it marks the first time either house of Congress has voted to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices on behalf of taxpayers, employers, patients, and their families.
This historic passage marks another stop on the trail blazed by historic legislation like the Hatch-Waxman Act, the Orphan Drug Act, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act, and the Affordable Care Act. These milestones helped expand access to affordable prescription drugs for millions of Americans, while increasing competition and encouraging innovation in the pharmaceutical industry.
If enacted, H.R. 3 will lower the prices for some of the most costly prescription drugs; ensure price increases for prescription drugs are limited from year to year; cap patients’ out-of-pocket costs (like co-pays) under Medicare Part D; infuse new resources into the National Institutes of Health for researching breakthrough treatments and cures; and offer new benefits for seniors, including dental, hearing and vision care.
I fully support this bill and hope the Senate moves swiftly to safeguard our seniors and millions of Americans weighed down by the high cost of their prescription drugs by passing H.R. 3.
Waxman Strategies strives to build on Congressman Waxman’s legacy and longtime commitment to finding balance between innovation and competition, while assuring affordable drugs are available to patients. Our 2017 report, Getting to the Root of High Prescription Drug Prices: Drivers and Potential Solutions, looked at the causes of high prescription drug prices and potential solutions to encourage discussion on how to achieve bipartisan action to address them. We are thrilled to see Congress taking steps to tackle this issue.