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Today, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a hearing on the high cost of prescription drugs, which is the first in a series of three hearings on this topic.

The underlying theme of the hearing was the lack of debate and closed door secrecy around the impending vote on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, which would affect insurance coverage for millions of Americans.

Senators from both parties expressed support for personal prescription importation – Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) emphasized the challenges of rural America in accessing affordable and safe prescription medications and cited importation as a solution to the problem. In his closing remarks, Senator Al Franken (D-MN) highlighted importation first among his proposed solutions for addressing the high cost of prescription medications.

Harsh words were used throughout the hearing to describe the dubious practices of #BigPharma to inhibit competition, unfairly protect their patents and influence Congressional leaders to maintain and increase their profits at the expense of the lives and well-being of millions of Americans.

As Senator Sanders (I-VT) stated, “We pay the highest prices in the world, this is not a complicated issue – if you want to know what’s going on, just follow the money. Big Pharma lobbyists own a good portion of Congress. The real question is whether or not Congress will stand up to Big Pharma.”

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) emphasized that this is a ‘pivotal and deeply concerning moment’ in the future of our health care system. She also pointed out that the work of members of Congress is strongest when patients and their families share their stories and make their voices heard, which is why we need you to come forward. Please share your story here:

More information on the hearing can be found here:

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