Neal Statement on Ways and Means Passage of Legislation to Lower U.S. Drug Prices
Washington, DC, October 23, 2019
Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) released the following statement after the committee passed H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act:
“After years of congressional inaction, we’re moving legislation to lower drug prices and save American families money. H.R. 3 levels the playing field for U.S. consumers who, on average, pay four times more than patients in other countries for the exact same drugs. In addition to allowing the HHS Secretary to negotiate lower prescription prices, our legislation caps Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs at $2,000. Thanks to this cap and lower, negotiated drug prices, more people will be able to afford the drugs they need that they may have previously forgone due to high costs. With more Americans taking the medicines they’re prescribed, families will be healthier, and premiums will go down.
“I am immensely proud of the groundbreaking health care innovation that takes place in the United States, particularly in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It has led to treatments for numerous diseases and adds to local and regional economies. But what is the point of innovation if no one can afford it? Today, we moved closer to bringing breakthrough drugs within reach for the Americans who need them.
“It is only fitting that a bill of this significance, that will have such a meaningful, positive impact on Americans’ lives, be named after our friend and colleague who we recently lost, Congressman Cummings. He was a man of principle who believed in this institution and its power to do good. A fitting legacy for this great public servant, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act will do tremendous good for seniors and working families across our nation.”
H.R. 3, as amended, passed by a vote of 24-17-1.