After a long summer of committee debates and discussions with constituents, health care reform is finally out in the open on the Senate floor -- but it doesn't include much of anything to lower drug prices. And the big drug companies are pulling out all the stops to keep it that way.
I've offered a bipartisan amendment that would give the American people the freedom to purchase prescription drugs from other countries at a fraction of the price they are required to pay here. As you know, the American people are charged the highest prices in the world for brand-name prescription drugs. Those same drugs are sold elsewhere at a much lower price. I want the American people to have the ability to force the pharmaceutical companies to offer fair prices here in the United States.
My legislation will get that done.
This is a crucial reform that's urgently needed to combat one of the fastest-rising costs associated with health care -- the skyrocketing price of prescription drugs. The cost of prescription drugs increased by just over 9 percent this year alone!
I hope you will contact your senators today to ensure that they've joined me in supporting the prescription drug importation bill.
This amendment is bipartisan with substantial Democratic and Republican support. It is important because it would bring accountability into the prescription drug marketplace without introducing any additional risk.
My bill has ironclad safety features that will give the American people the opportunity to purchase FDA-approved drugs at a much lower price from certified outlets in Canada and other countries where the chain of custody of the drug supply is safe.
The drug companies are fighting this tooth and nail, claiming they already negotiated a deal that does not allow the American people to import these prescription drugs.
But as an old Senator once said, "I'm not for any deal that I am not a part of." And frankly I was not a part of any deal, and I think that any agreement that was struck was not fair to the American people. The pharmaceutical industry should not be given the gift of requiring artificially high drug prices here in this country.
This isn't the first time we've tried to get this legislation passed. But I believe this time we can succeed.
We're in a strong position thanks to all the supporters who signed my petition back in August and helped embolden the bipartisan group of 30 senators I'm leading in this cause.
But 30 senators are not a majority, and I'm going to need your help to win this amendment over the objections of the pharmaceutical industry.
U.S. consumers should not be charged the highest prices in the world for brand-name prescription drugs. That's just not fair -- and I aim to change it.
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