National Campaign to Control Prescription Drug Costs Launched - CT Action

CT activists joined the kick-off of the national “Lower Drug Prices Now” campaign with a press conference in Hartford on August 20 that included US Sen. Richard Blumenthal and State Senator Matt Lesser. The principles of the campaign are below. The Campaign is preparing materials that we can use to ask US Senators and Representatives to sign onto these principles. More information as this develops. For more information about the Campaign, contact Ann Pratt of CCAG, ann.prattccag@gmail.com.

Wed. Sept. 4 - Sen. Blumenthal is hosting a town hall on prescription drug prices in West Hartford. Details on the Events page of www.protectourcarect.org.

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Principles of Lower Drug Prices Now Campaign:

We are a coalition that has come together to fight for transformative, bold reforms through legislative, legal and executive actions at the state and federal level based on the following principles:

GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITY: It is our government’s responsibility to guarantee that everyone in the United States, no matter where they live, what they look like or how much money they have, has access to affordable medicines they need to stay healthy and take care of their families. We oppose policies that put medicine economically out of reach for individuals or families here or that deny or delay access to medicine for people in other countries.

AFFORDABLE ACCESS: Drug corporations and their lobbyists have rigged the rules of the pharmaceutical industry in order to drive up profits, putting medicines out of reach for millions of people. Drug company price gouging puts the greatest pressure on the people who can least afford to bear the brunt of high prices, making health and economic disparities even worse. Solutions to the affordable medicine crisis must ensure no one gets left behind by toppling barriers that systematically deny people access to medicines they need.

MAKING THE SYSTEM FAIR: We must curb drug corporations’ power to extract profits at the expense of people’s health by harnessing the government’s power to improve patients’ lives. This requires a range of concrete steps that re-write the rules to rein in drug corporations’ monopoly power to price gouge; that requires the drug industry to negotiate fair prices with government; and that holds corporations accountable for practices that directly and indirectly keep prices unjustifiably high.

PUTTING PUBLIC GOOD AHEAD OF CORPORATE PROFIT: We as taxpayers help foot the bill for a substantial amount of drug research, development and innovation, for drug purchasing through Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration and for marketing, legal and patent protections for drug corporations. We must ensure government funding and incentives prioritize medical breakthroughs that most serve the public good rather than those that primarily extend monopolies and increase corporate profits. Everyone wants proven treatments and life-saving innovations, but prescription drugs are useless to people who can’t afford them. We must change the system to make sure everyone can benefit from our shared public investment in new drug research and development by ensuring that medicines are affordable and accessible to everyone.

Jane McNichol