Re: “Sen. Collins: Bill takes bipartisan approach to lowering medication costs” (Sept. 13):

There’s no question that the cost of prescription drugs is far too high. As chair of the Legislature’s Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Services Committee, I hear heartbreaking stories about the stress Mainers face because of these sky-high prices.

One in four Americans struggles to afford their medication, and one in seven Americans doesn’t take their medication as prescribed because it costs too much. Every week, it seems, we hear another story of a young person with diabetes dying after rationing their insulin. That’s unacceptable.

Politicians in Washington, including our own Sen. Susan Collins, talk a lot about prescription drugs, but they’ve avoided doing anything meaningful to address the problem. They take huge amounts of campaign cash from “Big Pharma,” then they ultimately fail to act to lower drug costs, time and time again.

Here in Maine, we were tired of pharmaceutical companies taking advantage of people. It was clear to us that Washington wasn’t going to do anything meaningful, so we stepped up.

In the Legislature, we did what Mainers do best: We got to work. We had difficult but productive conversations with our colleagues across the aisle to reach consensus. In the end, we passed a package of laws, with bipartisan support, that will make a real difference for Mainers.

We took on Big Pharma and their high-priced middlemen, and we won.

We’re hopeful other states will follow our lead until officials in Washington finally take real action.

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