Representative Malinowski Votes to Lower Prescription Drug Costs

December 12, 2019
Press Release

(Washington, DC) Today, the House passed H.R. 3 the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, to help lower the cost of prescription drugs. This bill gives Medicare the ability to negotiate directly with drug companies for the first time, while requiring these lower prices to be transparent and available to those with private insurance. It also creates a new annual $2,000 out-of-pocket limit on prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries.

In New Jersey’s 7th district, over 93,000 people are enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan and over 611,000 are enrolled in private health insurance. All would benefit from the passage of this legislation. For example, those living with diabetes, cancer, arthritis, asthma, and HIV/AIDS are expected to experience significant savings as a result of H.R.3:

  • Patients with Diabetes: 8.1% of New Jersey residents have diabetes, and H.R. 3 could lower the average total cost of the insulin NovoLOG Flexpen by 76% from about $19,800 to $4,800 per year.
  • Patients living with breast cancer: In 2019, an estimated 8,340 women in New Jersey will be diagnosed with breast cancer. H.R.3 can lower the average total cost of the breast cancer medication Ibrance by 65% from $69,000 to 23,900 per year.
  • Patients living with leukemia: In 2019, an estimated 2,070 people in New Jersey will be diagnosed with leukemia. H.R.3 can lower the average total cost of the leukemia medication Tasigna by 71% from 93,700 to 27,400 per year.
  • Patients living with prostate cancer: In 2019, an estimated 5,710 people in New Jersey will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. H.R.3 can lower the average total cost of the prostate cancer medication Zytiga by 66% from $109,500 to $37,400.
  • Patients with arthritis: 20.5% of New Jersey residents have arthritis, and H.R.3 can lower their total costs on most arthritis drugs from about $40,000 to $10,000 per year.
  • Patients with asthma: About 8.6% of New Jersey residents live with asthma, and H.R.3 can lower their total costs on most asthma drugs from about $1,400 to $270 per year.
  • Patients with HIV/AIDS: In 2015, 1,108 New Jersey residents were diagnosed with HIV, and H.R.3 can lower their total costs on most HIV drugs from about $15,000 to $6,000 per year.

In addition to lowering prescription drug prices, H.R.3 also reinvests the nearly half a trillion in savings into expanding Medicare coverage for dental, vision, and hearing services for constituents in New Jersey’s 7th District:

  • About 98% of beneficiaries or 125,800 people stand to gain from adding a dental benefit.
  • About 90% of beneficiaries or 114,700 people stand to gain from adding a vision benefit.
  • About 96% of beneficiaries or 123,300 people stand to gain from adding a hearing benefit.

The savings will also be used to bolster funding for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by investing over $10 billion with the goal accelerating the search for the next big scientific breakthrough. 

“Prescription drug costs are out of control for my constituents. No one should be forced to skip dosages or meals to afford their medication,” said Congressman Malinowski. “President Trump campaigned on the common sense principle that Medicare should be able to negotiate prices on behalf of its millions of beneficiaries, and I hope he keeps his promise, as we are doing today.”

 

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