Sending Office: Honorable Mark Pocan
COSPONSOR STOP PRICE GOUGING ACT NOW
Cosponsors: Rep. Jayapal
Endorsing Organizations: Social Security Works, Public Citizen, Center for Medicare Advocacy, Daily Kos, Families USA, Knowledge Ecology International, and Universities Allied for Essential Medicines
According to new analysis by the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI), the cost of prescription drugs increased by 25 percent while their use grew a modest 1.8 percent. Drug prices continue to be a devastating problem for Americans and it is time to hold drug
manufacturers accountable for their actions; the Stop Price Gouging Act
uniquely protects consumers and penalizes drug corporations that spike drug prices deliberately without justification.
Nearly 28 million Americans have personally experienced a sudden spike in the price of their prescription medications over the past year. Of those 28 million, almost 15 percent made the conscious
decision to go without their prescription rather than face the increase in cost. From insulin to EpiPen to treatments for cancer and opioid addiction, pharmaceutical corporations are repeatedly spiking the prices of existing therapies to increase profits,
holding hostage the millions of patients who rely on these drugs to stay healthy.
When it comes to the prescription drug prices, the market is broken. In many cases, patents and other exclusivities as well as industry consolidation preclude any real price competition. Pharmaceutical corporations are engaging in price gouging tactics because
they can. Under current law, these corporations can increase the price of their products whenever they want without any justification – there is no mechanism to prevent a manufacturer from spiking the
price of its drugs year after year. In fact, pharmaceutical corporations are not even required to report the increases in the price of their drugs to the public. In January 2017, median prices for prescription medications increased by an average of nearly
nine percent – about four times higher than the overall inflation rate.
The Stop Price Gouging Act holds pharmaceuticals accountable and protects consumers from egregious year-after-year price spikes and large, unjustified single price spikes companies use when they reach the end of their patent life
or are looking for a quick increase in revenue. More specifically, the bill does the following:
- Requires pharmaceutical corporations to report any increases in the price of their products, as well as justification for any increases that exceed medical inflation, to the public;
- Imposes a penalty on corporations that engage in excessive, unjustified price increases that is proportional to the size of the price spike.
- Instructs the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study examining how drug manufacturers establish initial launch prices and suggest best practices for monitoring new drug pricing; and
- Reinvests revenues collected from companies in future drug research and development at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
- Is estimated to save taxpayers several billions of dollars.
While we have seen a handful of companies publically pledge to limit their drug price increases, less than fifteen percent of the world’s top 28 pharmaceutical corporations are willing to commit to self-regulating this industry-wide practice of price gouging
and willing even to commit to limiting annual prices increases to less than 10 percent.,
Americans should not have to choose between putting food on the table and paying for their prescriptions. We invite you to join us in holding pharmaceutical corporations accountable for price gouging their customers and American taxpayers by cosponsoring
the Stop Price Gouging Act, H.R. 2974.
Mark Pocan Marcy Kaptur
Member of Congress Member of Congress
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