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Will Big Pharma Execs Answer for US Prices 400% Higher Than Canada?

Washington, D.C. -  Today the Campaign for Personal Prescription Importation (CPPI) calls for Big Pharma to answer why it charges U.S. patients 400% higher prices on the same medications that are available safely from Canada.  CPPI also calls for Chairman Sanders to reintroduce the Affordable and Safe Drug Importation Act to ensure Americans have access to critical medications at affordable prices.

“There is no reason that Americans should pay 400% more for their daily prescription drugs than Canadians. The time is now time for our longtime champion Senator Sanders to reintroduce his legislation to allow for the importation of safe and affordable prescription drugs,” says Jack Pfeiffer, CPPI executive director. 

Thursday, January 25, was scheduled to be the date of a Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing titled “Why Does the United States Pay, By Far, The Highest Prices In The World For Prescription Drugs?” Due to an unwillingness by some pharmaceutical manufacturing executives to appear and answer for the high price of prescription drugs in America, the hearing has been postponed until after HELP Committee members vote on whether to subpoena executives at Johnson & Johnson and Merck. Tangentially, Senators Bernie Sanders (D-V.T.) Chairman of the HELP Committee, Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) sent letters to the CEOs of four pharmaceutical companies launching a major investigation into the extremely high prices these companies charge for inhalers that 25 million Americans with asthma and 16 million Americans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) rely on to breathe.

“While CPPI’s 100,000-plus patient advocates were looking forward to learning how pharmaceutical executives justify the outrageous prices they charge American consumers at a Senate hearing today, it is unfortunate that these executives failed to appear before the HELP Committee. We applaud Chairman Sanders for his subpoena efforts as Americans deserve to know why they are charged so much more than anywhere else in the world,” stated Pfeiffer. 

“Furthermore, CPPI appreciates the leadership of Chairman Sanders and his colleagues for sending letters to the CEOs of four inhaler manufacturers asking why these life-saving medicines are unfairly expensive for the 25 million Americans with asthma and 16 million Americans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).” 

CPPI drug price comparisons show that the Flovent Diskus inhaler produced by GlaxoSmithKlein costs more than three times as much in the United States as it does from licensed Canadian pharmacies. Other top-selling daily prescription medications average more than 400 percent higher prices in the U.S. than in Canada.   


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