Press Release

Castor, Tampa Bay AARP support legislation to lower drug prices for Floridians

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Washington, October 1, 2019 | comments
Today, U.S. Rep Kathy Castor (FL14), Tampa Bay AARP, JDRF and local residents highlighted the urgent need to lower prescription drug prices for Floridians. Castor announced that she is cosponsoring the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (HR 3) that would provide much-needed relief for Florida seniors and families who depend on medication whether they are covered by Medicare, private insurance or are uninsured. The bill will allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs and extend the lower costs to families who rely on private insurance. Currently, an estimated 98,000 uninsured individuals in Tampa Bay pay higher prices for prescription drugs than patients in other countries.
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Today, U.S. Rep Kathy Castor (FL14), Tampa Bay AARP, JDRF and local residents highlighted the urgent need to lower prescription drug prices for Floridians. Castor announced that she is cosponsoring the Lower Drug Costs Now Act (HR 3) that would provide much-needed relief for Florida seniors and families who depend on medication whether they are covered by Medicare, private insurance or are uninsured. The bill will allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs and extend the lower costs to families who rely on private insurance. Currently, an estimated 98,000 uninsured individuals in Tampa Bay pay higher prices for prescription drugs than patients in other countries. 

“I have heard from individuals across Tampa, at the YMCA, grocery store, town halls and on the street, about the unaffordable cost of prescription drugs,” said Castor. “It’s time for Congress to ensure that life-saving treatments are no longer out of reach for all of our neighbors and especially our most vulnerable.

“Today we heard from 13-year-old Brooke, who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 3. She is doing great, but it is challenge enough for her and her family without the added pressure of how to pay for a drug that’s more and more costly. Insulin is not a choice for her, it’s how she lives her life in good health. The cost of insulin is a scandal, and I was proud to sign onto H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which will extend lower drug prices and provide much-needed relief for countless individuals.

“Delores Grayson is one of many Florida seniors who depend on medicine purchased through Medicare. No one, let alone children or seniors, should have to choose between putting food on the table or purchasing the medicine they need to survive.

“The Lower Drug Costs Now Act will finally allow for the negotiation of prescription drug prices through Medicare and stops drug companies from ripping off American families and seniors. This is an all-American proposition that makes sure everyone can afford the cost of their prescription drugs.”

Castor was joined by Jeff Johnson from Tampa Bay AARP, Brooke and Tammy Loomis from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and Delores Grayson from Organize Florida.

The average annual cost of prescription drug treatment increased 57.8 percent between 2012 and 2017, while the annual income for Floridians only increased 12.7 percent. Currently, a monthly supply of Novolog Flexpen – a popular insulin brand – is purchased for an average of $579, as compared to $28 in Australia, $51 in the United Kingdom and $47 in Canada.

U.S. Rep. Castor recently helped lead a congressional hearing on lowering prescription drug prices. H.R. 3: The Lower Drug Costs Now Act has the support of organizations including AARP, AFL-CIO, AFSCME and Families USA.

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