VAN DREW CALLS ON BIDEN ADMIN AND CONGRESS TO TAKE STEPS TO LOWER COST OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
March 14, 2023 — Congressman Van Drew called on the Biden Administration and Congress to take actionable steps to lower the cost of prescription drugs for seniors and individuals who live in rural and medically underserved areas.
“The average cost of prescription drugs in the United States is higher than any other nation, and most Americans over the age of 65 rely on at least four different prescription medications,” said Congressman Van Drew. “The Department of Health and Senior Services estimated that in 2016 alone, Americans spent more than $460 billion on prescription drugs. The cost of prescription drugs account for 10% of overall healthcare spending in the United States and reached an excess of $448 billion in 2016.
“In 2017, out-of-pocket spending accounted for 14% of the total spending of prescription drugs, amounting over $47 billion. In my district, Medicare currently does not provide coverage for 90% of oral, vision, hearing, and dental exams. Many of my residents cite the high cost as the deciding factor in not seeking out these critical services. While there have been positive steps in lowering prescription costs, more needs to be done. Medicare should be free to negotiate directly with drug companies on all medications, not an arbitrary, finite list. This would create a powerful tool to force drug companies to negotiate and agree to real price reductions, ensuring seniors and individuals in underserved areas never lose access to vital prescriptions. Negotiated drug prices should then be extended to all Americans, including those with private health insurance. We have a duty to serve the American people and stop these drug companies from ripping off Americans while charging other nations less, for the same prescriptions.”