NY-22 Minute: Brindisi Says Prescription Drug Costs Top Issue for Constituents By Luke Perry
Rep. Brindisi recently identified prescription drug costs as the number one issue he hears about from constituents in NY-22. Brindisi expects a related series of bills to advance in Congress this fall.
This is “an area where I think Democrats and Republicans can agree something has to be done on the cost of prescription drug costs,” Brindisi explained. “There’s been a number of hearings that have been done over the last few months on this issue,” which Brindisi believes reflects a bipartisan process that will produce “solid legislation.”
Brindisi held round table discussions on the topic and sponsored The Ensuring Timely Access to Generics Act to address what he describes as “dirty tactics” employed by pharmaceutical companies to keep generic drugs off the market.
Brindisi co-sponsored the bill with Rep. John Joyce (R, PA-13). In April, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced a similarly titled bill in the Senate.
“Big manufacturers will file these phony petitions,” Brindisi explained, “saying that the generic will cause harm” when the data quickly reveals these are “based on junk science.” Brindisi believes drug companies are “just trying to use this delay so they can continue to have the monopoly of certain types of drugs, like EpiPen or others.”
Brindisi contends that lack of competition is a big problem as companies who make specific drugs control the prices. Brindisi believes cheaper generic drugs need to be made available (extended discussion here).
National polling reflects a strong desire for Congress to reduce prescription drug costs with 90 percent of voters stating it is “important” to act this session. Over 80 percent believe current prices are “unreasonable.” This spans the ideological spectrum, while Brindisi’s work on this issue helps solidify support among local grassroots liberal organizations.
Luke Perry (@PolSciLukePerry) is Professor of Government at Utica College
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