From the Desk of Congressman Kurt Schrader
 

Dear Neighbor,

I’m sure you’ve seen the headlines:

·         Parents Outraged over EpiPen Price Hike [KGW, 8/30/16]

·         Former Shkreli Pharmaceutical Firm Responsible for 5,000% Drug Hike [Statesman Journal, 5/2/16]

·         Drug Company CEO All but Gloated over Huge Drug Price Increases [New York Times, 2/2/16]

By now it feels familiar—pharmaceutical CEOs run their companies like Wall Street hedge funds, buying the rights to produce drugs that have been on the market for decades, usually where there are no competitors. Before long, the drug companies raise prices astronomically, all at the expense of patients and taxpayers. One CEO even had the nerve to mockingly laugh at the American people throughout a Congressional hearing. I’m sorry to report that these renegade drug companies have hit a new low: as communities across the country, including some here in Oregon, are in the midst of a lead-tainted water crisis, one company has jacked up the price on medication to treat lead poisoning by 2,700 percent!

These galling price hikes cannot continue.

After seeing initial reports of this predatory behavior earlier this year, I decided to take action. Working across the aisle with fellow Democrats and Republicans, I introduced the bipartisan Lower Drug Costs through Competition Act. My bill would encourage generic competitors to enter the market and would speed approvals for competing drugs at the FDA. It is simple economics that has been proven time and again: as more generics enter the market, prices come down. Forcing drug companies to compete all but ensures that drug company CEOs like Martin Shkreli can’t rip off consumers using the Wall Street hedge fund business plan. You can read more about my legislation here.

Patients’ lives and livelihoods are at risk. I am going to continue working with my colleagues to stop these profiteers, and I won’t let up on the fight.

As I continue to work for you in Congress, please do not hesitate to contact my office with opinions or issues you may be facing with federal agencies.

Sincerely,
(signed)

Kurt Schrader
Member of Congress

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