Press Releases

On Prescription Drug and Health Care Costs, Senator Collins Has Failed Mainers

Oct 16, 2020

Gideon rejects corporate PAC money, has a plan to root out corruption in both parties

Collins has taken $6 million from corporate PACs, the most in Maine history

Reformer Sara Gideon faced off against corporate PAC ally Senator Susan Collins for the third debate for U.S. Senate in Maine. Senator Collins, who has broken the record for taking the most corporate PAC money in Maine history, once again proved she has lost sight of who she’s supposed to represent.

“Senator Collins loves to tout her seniority but she has nothing to show for it because she’s beholden to her corporate special interest donors,” said End Citizens United President Tiffany Muller. “Just look at prescription drug prices and health care costs. Under Senator Collins’ tenure, Mainers have and continue to make unimaginable sacrifices to afford life-saving medications while Big Pharma and health care corporations make out like bandits. If Senator Collins’ seniority mattered, she should have stood up to Mitch McConnell and her Big Pharma donors to demand change. Instead, she has become complicit in this unethical scheme of boosting profits while charging Mainers exorbitant prices for life-saving medications.

“You’d be hard-pressed to find a Mainer who doesn’t think the $596,000 Collins has taken from Big Pharma and health insurance corporate PACs has nothing to do with it.”

How Big Pharma Fares Under Senator Collins’ Tenure:
In her vote for the 2017 GOP tax bill, Senator Susan Collins gave $76 billion in tax cuts to Big Pharma. Instead of using those savings to lower prescription drug costs, Big Pharma has used that money towards stock buybacks for investors and executives, according to an Axios report. The report shows that in 2018, the first year the GOP tax bill went into effect, Big Pharma spent $69 billion on stock buybacks for investors and executives. Just one year prior, Big Pharma spent $25.5 billion on stock buybacks. The jump from 2017 to 2018 represents a 171 percent increase in just one year. Over that same time period, Big Pharma increased its research and development spending by only 12 percent.

How Mainers Fare Under Senator Collins’ Tenure [Source: AARP]:

  • The same year Collins voted for the tax bill, 31% of Mainers stopped taking prescribed medication due to cost.

  • In 2017, it was estimated that 162,474 Mainers had been diagnosed with cancer.

    • Between 2012-2017, Revlimid, a drug used to treat various types of cancer went from $147,413 per year to $247,496 per year.

  • In 2017, it was estimated that 130,128 Mainers had pre-diabetes or diabetes.

    • Between 2012-2017, Lantus, a drug used to treat diabetes went from from $2,907 per year to $4,702 per year

  • In 2017, it was estimated that 50,795 Mainers had heart disease.

    • Between 2012-2017, Aggrenox, a drug used to treat heart disease went from $3,030 per year to $5,930 per year.

Sara Gideon is fighting to end the corrupt system Susan Collins has enabled by prioritizing anti-corruption as a foundational issue – and she’s backing it up by rejecting corporate PAC money. Gideon announced that taking on corruption would be her first priority in Washington with an aggressive set of reforms to Make Washington Work for Mainers. The reforms aim to rein in the influence of special interests and crack down on corruption in Washington, and include an amendment to overturn the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates for endless corporate spending in our political campaigns. Gideon’s plan addresses the revolving door between Congress and lobbying firms, and calls for a lifetime ban on former members of Congress becoming lobbyists. Gideon’s aggressive anti-corruption platform is exactly what Mainers need after two decades of Senator Collins’ failed leadership.