Brunswick Beacon, 04.14.22
Last week Congressman David Rouzer voted against another bill to lower the cost of prescription drugs. As a retired registered nurse and a senior on Medicare, I know that high-cost forces many patients to make hard choices between life-saving medication and other necessities.
Americans spend 2.5 times more than other countries on prescription drugs, and 3.4 times more for brand-name drugs. That’s why healthcare advocates proposed legislation allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. Big Pharma has fought the idea for years. Its supporters, like Rouzer, have consistently voted to keep drug prices unnecessarily high.
H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, would have allowed Medicare to negotiate drug prices. It passed the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives in 2019 but failed in the Republican-controlled Senate. Rouzer voted “No.”
H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act, included the same provision. It passed the House last year, but not the Senate. Again, Rouzer voted “No.”
Healthcare advocates tried another, more limited approach. They targeted insulin, a prime example of Big Pharma’s price-gouging. The researchers who developed it 100 years ago won the Nobel Prize and sold the patent for $1 as a public service.
Insulin costs under $10/vial to make. But some Americans spend hundreds of dollars/vial, more than ten times the average cost in 32 other developed countries because of Big Pharma’s price-gouging.
The Affordable Insulin Now Act caps the price at $35/month, saving patients thousands of dollars a year. It passed the House on March 31. Once again, Rouzer voted “No.”
Big Pharma funnels campaign contributions through the American Action Network, a Republican dark money group. AAN contributed $50,000 to send Rouzer to Congress. Since then, Rouzer has had three opportunities to lower prescription drug prices. He voted “No” every time.
It’s time to give him a taste of his own medicine. Vote “No” to Rouzer.
Linda McConnell Baker