MEDFORD, Ore. -- Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) is pushing a plan to stop pharmaceutical companies from gouging consumers with higher prescription drug costs. It’s called the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act (PDPRA) of 2019. On Tuesday he stopped by Lone Pine Drug in Medford to talk about the bipartisan legislation.
“We’re not just going to look away when there is price gouging,” Sen. Wyden said.
He also said the PDPRA would make it harder for pharmaceutical companies to dramatically increase a patient’s prescription drug cost. If they do, the company’s subsidy would be reduced.
“The Congressional Budget Office is the official score keeper. They concluded that this will save taxpayers about $100 billion. It will save consumers about $27 billion out of pocket. It will reduce premiums by about $5 million,” Wyden added.
The pharmacists at Lone Pine Drug said some patients are trying to stretch their doses because the prices are too high.
“[They’re] trying to make things last a little longer and that’s not what the doctor prescribed,” added Lone Pine Drug owner and pharmacist Brett Summers. “In order for that person to remain healthy, they need to be taking the correct dose.”
Summers said, in turn, his business is put in a tough spot.
“When they say they can’t afford it, a lot of times we eat a lot of the cost, whether it’s a discounted rate or some effect to make sure that person does get that medicine,” He added.
This piece of legislation passed the Senate Finance Committee 19-9. Senator Wyden said now it goes to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).
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