Cicilline, DiPalma Highlight Work to Lower Prescription Drug Costs

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

MIDDLETOWN – U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI-01) and Rhode Island State Senator Louis DiPalma (D-12) visited the Middletown Senior Center today to talk about their work to lower the high cost of prescription drugs.


“Americans pay more for prescription drugs than anyone else in the world. We need to do more to make sure working people can get the medicine they need at an affordable cost. That’s exactly why the House passed the Lower Drug Costs Now Act last December,” said Cicilline. “President Trump and Mitch McConnell may talk a big game, but they’re still blocking this commonsense bill from a vote in the Senate. It’s time for them to stop standing up for Big Pharma, and work with us to get this done for the American people.” 


“The ever-increasing cost of prescription drugs, some spiraling out of control, is having devastating effects on families across RI. Working to begin to address the situation, the Rhode Island Senate introduced a package of legislation inspired by the work of AARP,” added Senator DiPalma. “It is critical we work to ameliorate this negative impact on our citizens.  The time to act is now.” 


Last December, House Democrats passed the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R.3), a sweeping proposal to lower prescription drug costs and invest in the future of Medicare. H.R.3 is among more than 275 bipartisan bills passed by the House that Mitch McConnell refuses to give a vote in the Senate. Although the House has repeatedly passed major legislation to give 33 million working people a raise, require universal background checks on gun sales, and end the influence of secret corporate spending in elections, the Senate has remained silent on these issues for the past year.


Rhode Island Senate Bill 2321 would create a Wholesale Prescription Drug Importation Program which allows for the wholesale importation of prescription drugs from Canada by or on behalf of the state.  When approved by the US Department of Health, this legislation would allow all Rhode Islanders to purchase their needed prescription drugs at reduced prices. 


Cicilline has fought to lower health care and prescription drug costs throughout his time in office. The Rhode Island Congressman authored the bipartisan CREATES Act, bipartisan legislation that cracks down on Big Pharma’s delay tactics to make it easier for generic drugs to come to market. The CREATES Act will lower the cost of some prescription drugs by as much as 85% and save taxpayers $3.9 billion. In addition, Cicilline’s Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Through Promoting Competition Act (H.R.5133), which passed the House Judiciary Committee last year, is currently awaiting consideration by the full House. The bill empowers the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to better fight Big Pharma’s anticompetitive practices. 





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