Rep. Torres Votes to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

December 12, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Norma J. Torres (CA-35) voted today to pass the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3), which gives Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices directly with pharmaceutical companies. Those lower prices will be available to consumers of private insurance plans as well. The bill also creates a new $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries.

 

“Health is a necessity in life, not just a privilege,” Rep. Torres said. “Whether we’re talking about a senior going hungry to afford medication, or a millennial rationing insulin just to pay rent, the fact that Americans have to choose between their daily needs and the medicines that keep them alive is completely unacceptable. There is no reason for lifesaving medication to be exponentially more expensive here than it is overseas, and the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act fixes that fact at long last.”

 

Americans pay up to 67 times as much as residents in other countries around the world for the same prescription drugs.

 

In California’s 35th Congressional District, 67,692 people are enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan and 401,888 people are enrolled in private health insurance – all of whom stand to benefit from H.R. 3.

 

  • Patients living with breast cancer: In 2019, an estimated 27,700 women in California will be diagnosed with breast cancer. H.R. 3 can lower the average total cost of the breast cancer medication Ibrance by 65% from 69,000 to 23,900 per year.
  • Patients living with leukemia: In 2019, an estimated 6,030 people in California will be diagnosed with leukemia. H.R. 3 can lower the average total cost of the leukemia medication Tasigna by 71 percent from $93,700 to $27,400 per year.
  • Patients living with prostate cancer: In 2019, an estimated 24,550 people in California will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. H.R. 3 can lower the average total cost of the prostate cancer medication Zytiga by 66% from $109,500 to $37,400 per year.
  • Patients with arthritis: 18.3% of California residents have arthritis, and H.R. 3 can lower their total costs on most arthritis drugs from about $40,000 to $10,000 per year.
  • Patients with asthma: About 7.9% of California residents live with asthma, and H.R. 3 can lower their total costs on most asthma drugs from about $1,400 to $270 per year.
  • Patients with HIV/AIDS: In 2015, 4,495 California residents were diagnosed with HIV, and H.R. 3 can lower their total costs on most HIV drugs from about $15,000 to $6,000 per year.
  • Patients with Multiple Sclerosis: One million people are living with MS in the United States, and H.R. 3 can lower their total costs on most MS drugs from $40,000 to $13,000 per year.

 

Source: https://torres.house.gov/sites/torres.house.gov/files/HR3Background.pdf

 

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