NJ Citizen Action Urges New Jersey Congressional Delegation to Back Real Drug Pricing Reform and Reject Menendez-Backed Proposal

Pharma-backed plan would prevent reforms needed to bring relief to millions of Americans

Newark, NJ – October 25 – New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) today urged New Jersey’s Congressional delegation to stand by President Biden’s Build Back Better plan allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices with drug companies, and reject an ineffective, watered-down drug reform bill advanced by U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and a handful of other Democrats. 

The Pharma-backed plan would include negotiations for only medicines that are off-patent, and therefore already considerably cheaper than patented-brand name medicines that are still in the exclusivity period. The proposal would sink a historic effort to lower drug prices of hundreds of millions of Americans who currently pay the highest prescription drug prices anywhere in the world. 

“Americans will not be fooled by Big Pharma’s smoke-and-mirror act,” said NJCA Health Care Program Director Maura Collinsgru. “This so-called ‘compromise bill’ supported by Senators Menendez, Sinema and a handful of other Dems is nothing more than a brick wall to block real drug pricing reform. It’s backed by the same pharmaceutical companies who have lobbied heavily to defeat past efforts at reform like H.R. 3. 

“Senator Menedez’s proposal will not require companies to negotiate, nor provide any accountability mechanism to get them to the table, and it will severely limit the number of drugs the Department of Health and Human Services will be able to negotiate lower drug prices for. This policy would a huge victory for the industry and threatens to thwart meaningful drug price reform for decades to come. 

“Senator Menendez’s support of this Big Pharma proposal puts him at odds with the vast majority of Americans and the 90 percent of New Jerseyans who support reforms lowering prescription drug costs for everyone. We urge our New Jersey delegation to stand against this plan. We also urge Senator Menendez to stand once more with the people of New Jersey as their health care champion, as he has done so many times before. We need Bob Menendez to stand with New Jerseyans, not Big Pharma.”

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New Jersey Citizen Action is a statewide advocacy and empowerment organization that advances social, racial and economic justice for all, while also meeting the pressing needs of low- and moderate-income New Jerseyans through education and direct services.