In the News

Sen. Martha McSally Puts Special Interests Before Lowering the Cost of Prescription Drugs

Dec 12, 2019

The Lower Drug Costs Now Act would allow Medicare to negotiate annual prices for the most expensive drugs on the market

Senator Martha McSally, a Big Money 20 member, has taken $78,500 from pharma corporate PACs over the course of her career

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019 (H.R. 3), a bill that would lift the ban put in place by politicians corrupted by the pharmaceutical industry to lower prescription drug prices for everyday Americans. While H.R. 3 offers hope to 15 million Americans who struggle to afford the crippling cost of prescription drugs, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has blocked more than 400 pieces of legislation and has already pledged to block a vote on the Lower Drug Costs Now Act. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) refuses to stand up to Mitch McConnell and instead sides with the corporate special interests that prop up Washignton’s corrupt establishment and Mitch McConnell’s majority.

“We can always count on Senator Martha McSally to side with McConnell and the corporate special interests that fund her campaign,” said End Citizens United President Tiffany Muller. “McSally should be working to lower the cost of prescription drugs, not boosting her reelection campaign. The House has done its job, now it’s time for the Senate to take action. We’ll make sure Arizonans hold Martha McSally and Mitch McConnell accountable.”

The Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019 (H.R. 3) would empower the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate annual prices for the 250 most expensive prescriptions on the market and establish a maximum price on negotiated drugs. Drug companies who refuse to engage in the negotiations would be fined. The bill would also put a $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket prescription drugs for Medicare recipients and would require drugmakers to pay a rebate if prices are increased beyond the rate of inflation.

From 1998-2017, the drug industry spent $3.7 billion on lobbying, which is $1 billion more than any other industry. In 2018 alone, the pharmaceutical industry hired nearly 1,470 lobbyists, nearly three lobbyists for every single member of Congress. As their lobbying efforts grew, Big Pharma continued to raise prescription drug prices, increasing the price of 3,400 prescription drugs in the first half of 2019 at an average rate of five times that of inflation.

ECU has conducted extensive polling and research showing that voters across the political spectrum support getting Big Money out of politics. ECU is a traditional political action committee (PAC) with more than four million members, including 80,900 in Arizona. The reform group is entirely grassroots-funded with an average donation of just $14.

For a full list and additional background on the Big Money 20, click here.