Oregon independent pharmacists and customers back Ron's prescription drug prices bill

Ron heard from independent pharmacists and their customers at meetings throughout Oregon over the past month how much they need pharmaceutical companies to be held accountable for skyrocketing drug prices.

Coming off the Senate Finance Committee’s 19-9 vote passing of his bipartisan bill lowering prescription drug costs, Ron said at each of his Oregon pharmacy visits that it’s essential for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the measure to the full Senate for a vote.

The legislation is sponsored by Ron, the committee’s ranking member; and Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.

“The best prescription for soaring prices is this bipartisan bill,” Ron said in his statewide pharmacy tour that included stops in Philomath, Florence, Eugene, Medford, Bend, Beaverton and Portland.

“We defied all the odds getting this bill out of committee and we’re not going to stop until we’ve succeeded in helping consumers and independent pharmacies get a fair shake from Big Pharma,” he said.

The legislation’s benefits, according to the independent Congressional Budget Office, are as follows:

  • More than $100 billion in Medicare and Medicaid savings for taxpayers.
  • $27 billion in lower out-of-pocket costs for seniors.
  • $5 billion saved in lower premiums for Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Lower prescription drug costs in the commercial market.

The bill would achieve these gains through two main changes to Medicare -- a “price hike penalty” that says drug companies must pay back the difference if they increase their prices faster than inflation, and an out-of-pocket cap paid for by drug and insurance companies.