MIL-OSI USA: Rep. Schrier Discusses Bringing Down Cost of Prescription Medicine During Health Hearing


Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08)

May 4, 2021

Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D. (WA-08) participated in an Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing on bringing down the costs of prescription drugs, so that patients no longer have to pay extreme prices for lifesaving medicines. You can find Rep. Schrier’s full remarks here.

“Like so many of my colleagues have highlighted- many of our prescription medications cost far too much, and their prices have continued to increase far faster than the rate of inflation, even when nothing about them has changed,” said Rep. Schrier. “Insulin is a classic example. I have Type 1 diabetes. The cost of my insulin has dramatically increased without any justification: the same bottle that cost $40 twenty years ago now costs $300. That is the price for a bottle that holds 10 mL – two teaspoons – of a medicine I cannot live without. Most insulin users need 2 or 3 bottles per month. This is just one example of why this issue of drug pricing is so urgent.”

During the hearing, Rep. Schrier also talked about the importance of fostering innovation—the type of cutting-edge treatments that have made Washington a global hub for research and development. Noting the difference between truly transformational cures and “me too” drugs that are very similar to existing treatments, Rep. Schrier added, “It is important that we recognize this nuance and use a scalpel- not a hatchet.”

The Congresswoman continued: “Research and development of groundbreaking medications and technologies is not easy, and there is no guarantee of success. It is a long road, often at least a decade, sometimes two, before a treatment makes it to market.” Washington state is home to companies that create thousands of jobs while making breakthroughs like cancer treatments, cell therapies including CAR-T, and first-of-its-kind gene therapies. 

Rep. Schrier looks forward to continuing to work with her colleagues to ensure all patients and their families can access innovative treatments and the medicine they need. As a co-chair of the Health Care Task Force for the New Democratic Coalition and the only pediatrician in Congress, Rep. Schrier is committed to bringing down the cost of prescription drugs, so families don’t have to choose between paying for medication or paying the bills.