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Rep. Chu Votes to Lower Prescription Drug Costs

May 16, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC — Today, the House of Representatives voted 234-183 to pass H.R. 987, the Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act, an omnibus package of bills designed to combat the Trump Administration’s sabotage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and help lower the prices of prescription drugs. This bill is comprised of seven different bills that would: allow generic companies to sue brand-name drug makers for not selling them samples needed for FDA approval; ban “pay-for-delay” agreements where a drug maker pays a generic developer to delay bringing a drug to market as part of a settlement agreement; prevent “generic parking” in which generic drug makers delay market entry in order to keep other generics off the market; repeal the Trump Administration’s short-term insurance regulations that promote junk plans; provide $200 million for states to establish their own insurance exchanges; provide $100 million annually for ACA navigators, which help consumers enroll in health plans; and provide $100 million annually for HHS to carry out outreach and educational activities for the federal insurance exchange. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) voted for the package of bills and issued the following statement:

“Republican attacks on the Affordable Care Act, and rule changes from the Trump administration, have weakened consumer protections, leaving Americans vulnerable to exploitation by drug makers and insurance companies. For instance, in my district in the San Gabriel valley, an uninsured diabetes patient has to pay 23 times as much for insulin as they would for the same drug if they lived in Australia. And in fact, I had the opportunity to press the head of a major drug company in a meeting today, and he confessed that his company made a 40% profit margin in the last year alone. That is an astounding margin, considering that Americans depend on these prescriptions to live. And so that is why I’m glad we could advance this important package today. It’s time we stop protecting the profit margins of drug makers and prioritize getting necessary medicines to those who need them, without bankrupting them first.”