The out-of-control price of prescription drugs has created a crisis of affordability across our state as patients and their families struggle to afford their much-needed medications. As a new mother who suffered from a rare pregnancy complication called Hyperemesis Gravidarum, I know firsthand how sky-high prescription drug prices can negatively impact the lives of Mainers across our state as many are forced between taking their medications or paying their bills. In fact, in 2017 nearly one-third of Mainers stopped taking their medications as prescribed due to cost.

Meanwhile, brand name drug companies continue to hike prices at mind-boggling rates. Already this year, Big Pharma has increased the prices on hundreds of drugs thousands of times — simply because they can. This is simply unacceptable, and something must be done to hold these companies accountable and deliver relief for Mainers. And Mainers agree. A recent survey found that nearly three-quarters of Maine adults want Congress to pass bipartisan, market-based measures that are being considered in both the House and Senate and have won support from our very own Sen. Susan Collins.

These measures would help Maine patients, seniors and taxpayers by keeping the growth of prescription drug prices in line with inflation, boosting transparency, supporting competition and reforming the Medicare Part D program to cap out-of-pocket costs and shift significant liability to brand name drug companies in the catastrophic phase. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that these solutions would lower drug prices for Mainers and would save taxpayers, seniors and patients $130 billion and would also lower drug prices for Mainers with private coverage.

It’s time for our elected leaders in Washington to join Sen. Collins and lend their support to these bipartisan measures so that they can quickly become law. Mainers are counting on it.

Brooke Giguere


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