Prescription Drugs

Big pharma companies have continued to increase the prices of prescription drugs people need to survive, continually making everyday life more complicated for those in need of critical medicines. Now, Americans pay far more for the same prescription drugs than patients in other nations.

This has created a crisis where nearly one in every five Americans were not able to fill a prescription in the past year, and one in ten have reported skipping doses of their medicine or splitting pills to make their prescriptions last a little bit longer. 

Congresswoman Trahan believes in the very basic idea of being able to afford your life-saving medication. In her first two years in Congress, she has taken bold action to level the playing field for American patients and provide tremendous benefits to taxpayers at the same time.

Lower Drug Costs Now Act
We cannot wait any longer to lower prescription drug costs. The price of many vital medications like insulin have skyrocketed for years. Congresswoman Lori Trahan proudly voted in favor of the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act to put an end to this devastating practice.

Congresswoman Trahan speaking in support of the Lower Drug Costs Now Act

Under the bill’s “Fair Price Negotiation Program,” the federal government – through the Secretary of Health and Human Services – will have the authority and tools to negotiate lower drug costs with pharmaceutical manufacturers. Notably, the lower drug prices would be available to Americans on Medicare or with private insurance.

Congresswoman Trahan is particularly proud that the bill included her amendment to require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate and report to Congress about the Administration’s implementation of the Fair Price Negotiation Program. Moreover, the bill creates a new, $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries. 

Additionally, the bill adds comprehensive dental, vision, and hearing benefits to Medicare. It invests $10 billion in biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health; $10 billion to combat the opioid crisis; and $10 billion for community health centers like those in Lawrence, Lowell, and Haverhill.

The Lower Drug Costs Now Act will save Massachusetts residents considerably on many of the most commonly prescribed prescriptions, including:

  • Insulin: Under this legislation, the 506,000 Massachusetts residents living with diabetes could spend 3.5 times less on insulin, and some commonly used insulins would cost as little as $400 per year.

  • Arthritis: For the nearly one in every four Massachusetts residents who have arthritis, this bill reduces total costs on most arthritis medications by as much as 75 percent.

  • Asthma: 621,312 Massachusetts residents live with asthma. The Lower Drug Costs Now Act can lower their total costs on most asthma drugs from about $1,400 to $270 per year.

  • Cancer: 15 million Americans living with cancer, including 40,000 annual cancer diagnoses in Massachusetts. This legislation lowers the price of some medicines for breast cancer by 65 percent, leukemia by 71 percent, and prostate cancer by 66 percent.

Strengthening Health Care and Lower Prescription Drug Costs Act
Congresswoman Trahan is also proud to have voted with her colleagues in the House to pass the Strengthening Health Care and Lower Prescription Drug Costs Act. This bill will ensure that cheaper generic drugs make it to the market faster than they have in the past and bans brand-name drug manufacturers from making agreements to delay the availability of generic competitors. This will ensure that patients have access to cheaper generic alternatives to brand name drugs, saving them and taxpayers money in the long run.