Jul 29 2019
Far too many Americans have, at one time or another, gone to the pharmacy counter to pick up a prescription and been shocked by the price tag. In the wealthiest country on the planet, that experience shouldn’t be as common as it is.
Over the years, my office has heard from far too many Delawareans who simply cannot afford medications they need. And this isn’t just an issue that affects our wallets. It is a drain on so many of us emotionally, too, as we watch and care for loved ones who need life-saving medications make hard choices so that they can afford the prescriptions that keep them healthy.
On behalf of all American patients, we can and we must do better. That’s why I voted yesterday to advance a bipartisan bill – the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019 – that begins to address the challenge of high drug prices.
Today, many Americans, and those who care for them, are forced to make the impossible decision of choosing between putting food on the table and paying for the drugs that they need. One such drug is insulin. For the more than 100,000 Delawareans living with diabetes, insulin is life-saving. But, too often, this crucial drug is unaffordable for those who need it most. These Americans and their families have seen the sticker price of insulin skyrocket. That’s why on Monday, I joined my Democratic and Republican colleagues to introduce new legislation that would combat these skyrocketing insulin prices and hold health care middlemen accountable.
Throughout the health care debate, I have focused on solutions that will lower drug costs for patients and their families, save taxpayer dollars, and preserve investment in new and better cures. I believe that the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019 is an important step that will help us begin to achieve those goals. And while the advancement of this legislation is good news, we undoubtedly have more work to do. I look forward to working with my colleagues – on both sides of the aisle – to build on this legislation to ensure drugs are more affordable, make the prescription drug market more transparent, while also preserving the innovation that drives new cures and treatments. It’s been said that “bipartisan solutions are always the lasting ones.” Now, that is where we are starting, and it is my hope that is how we can finish, too.
Winston Churchill famously said, “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” A good bill has advanced out of the Finance Committee, but we still have more work to do to make it even better. I am hopeful that, together, we can continue to push for real results that Delawareans can see at their pharmacy counters and get this bipartisan bill over the finish line.