Remarks by President Biden on How His Create Back Far better Agenda Will Lower Prescription Drug Prices

East Space

1:27 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Great afternoon.

In advance of I get started, allow me say a number of text about the pandemic — the pandemic of the unvaccinated.  I know there are lot of men and women out there striving to flip a community protection evaluate — that is, small children wearing masks in faculty so they can be risk-free –- into a political dispute.   

And this isn’t about politics.  This is about maintaining our kids risk-free.

I observed a movie and experiences from Tennessee of protestors threatening medical professionals and nurses who ended up in advance of a schoolboard making the case that, to retain little ones secure, there really should be mandatory masks.  And as they walked out, these physicians ended up threatened, these nurses had been threatened. 

You know, our health care workers are heroes.  They have been the heroes when there was no vaccine.  Lots of of them gave their lives trying to help save other folks.  And they’re heroes once more with a vaccine.  They’re undertaking their greatest to treatment for the men and women refusing to get vaccinated — unvaccinated people who are getting hospitalized and dying as a result of not remaining vaccinated.

To the mayors, university superintendents, educators, neighborhood leaders who are standing up to the governors politicizing mask security for our young ones — thank you, thank you as well.  Thank God that we have heroes like you, and I stand with you all, and The us must as properly.

Now, enable me flip to the aim of today’s remarks.  There are not a ton of things that nearly just about every American can agree on.  But I imagine it’s risk-free to say that all of us — whatever our track record, our age, or wherever we are living -– can agree that prescription drug selling prices are outrageously highly-priced in The usa.

Now, I’d like to discuss about how we’re going to help millions of Us residents help save money and relieve their burdens by lowering the price of prescription medicine.

Let me start off by acknowledging the groundbreaking and lifesaving operate that several pharmaceutical organizations are carrying out.

Appear no further than the vaccines they are manufacturing and providing that are encouraging us conquer this pandemic and preserve lives.

But we can make a distinction in between producing these breakthroughs and jacking up costs on a assortment of medicines for a range of everyday ailments and problems.

Suitable now, right below in The united states, we shell out the best prescription drug prices of any created country in the planet.  Allow me say that once more: of any developed country in the world.  About two to 3 periods what other nations fork out.

Previous 7 days, in the Oval Office, I hosted a smaller-business enterprise proprietor named Gail from Denver.  She’s 60 several years old.  When she was 11, she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  For virtually 50 several years, she’s experienced to acquire insulin to keep alive.

But you know what she told me?  She said she does not worry about becoming blind or her blood sugar dropping dangerously lower — the normal worries of anyone with Sort 1 diabetes.  She problems about becoming ready to shell out for her prescription prescription drugs.

All through our dialogue, she pulled out a vial of insulin from her bag.  In 2001, she mentioned, that single vial expense $32 a bottle.  Today, that actual similar bottle, with the exact exact components — no alterations — prices $280 for each bottle.

Gail and her husband get the job done tough.  They invest sensibly.  But because of the price of her prescription medication, her spouse may not be equipped to retire.  They drive the similar vehicle, she claimed, she’s experienced for 17 many years, not able to find the money for repairs or a new one.  And Gail is not by yourself.

It’s believed that a lot more than 34 million Americans — 10 percent of the populace of the United States — have diabetes, together with extra than 1.5 million of those people who have Kind 1 diabetic issues.

And the outrageous price, impacting every person throughout the board, spanning just about every sort of ailment and disease, is identical.

I remember what it was like for my mom as she obtained older and moved in with us.  Her prescription medication ended up so highly-priced
that it took me, my two brothers, and my sister — 3 siblings — chipping in to include the 1000’s of bucks in every month expenses that she did — that she had to exhaust, somewhat than exhaust the minor personal savings she experienced, for her prescription drugs.

It is personal to so lots of of us and so lots of of you.  You know, for extra than 1 million Us citizens dwelling with numerous sclerosis, one particular common drug for that condition fees $7,100 for each thirty day period.  The value has long gone up 1,000 {a3382cfb20fe1297d95e8ba52ce43279dc51037f9223fc2fc6a7bf81a44823df} around the previous 20 many years with no any modify in the drug. 

For more than 1 million individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, a widespread prescription drug utilized to price tag about $1,350 per thirty day period that was when it was launched back again in 2003.  Today, the same drug charges $7,700 for each month — over 5 periods more high-priced with out any transform.

For years, the price tag of several prescription medications has dramatically outpaced inflation.  These charges have set the squeeze on also numerous family members and stripped them of their dignity.  They’ve been forced — we force men and women into horrible options, concerning sustaining their wellbeing, having to pay the rent or the property finance loan, putting food on the desk.  I necessarily mean, pretty much.  And that’s the scenario for a ton of performing people and seniors, even if you can get the treatment you need. 

But, now, operating family members and far too many seniors are having difficulties to make it do the job. 

Nowadays, one particular in four Us citizens who choose prescription prescription drugs battle to manage them.  Virtually 30 {a3382cfb20fe1297d95e8ba52ce43279dc51037f9223fc2fc6a7bf81a44823df} have skipped doses, lower products in 50 percent, or — for the reason that they can’t afford to pay for the price.

We have to change this, and we can.

My administration has currently taken sizeable measures to reduce the charge of prescription medicines.  Very last month, I signed an govt purchase that has the effect of improving upon level of competition in the economy, which will result in decrease prescription drug fri- — drug costs.

Suitable now, when a drug company seeks authorization from the Fda — the Food and Drug Administration — for a sure drug to get a patent, it is permitted — the patent — it’s authorized to exclusively sell that drug without the need of competitors for up to 12 many years.  When that time period expires, other corporations can occur along, make the very same correct drug, and sell it cheaper.  It’s named a “generic drug.”

But however, it frequently requires a extensive time — many years and years — for this to transpire.  That’s why I have instructed the federal Drug Administration to get these genetic [generic] prescription drugs to buyers a lot quicker.  This is likely to raise competitiveness, lessen drug selling prices for absolutely everyone.

Analysis displays that charges could be cut by 25 to 33 {a3382cfb20fe1297d95e8ba52ce43279dc51037f9223fc2fc6a7bf81a44823df} and save $54 billion for shoppers around the next 10 a long time.  Would make a gigantic change for an normal family.

Secondly, I’ve requested the Food and drug administration to function with states and Tribes to import prescription medications safely and securely from Canada.  These are medicine that the Fda has identified are harmless.  And they are likely to make sure the drugs get to the states and Tribes properly.

Colorado estimates that their variation of the Drug Importation Plan is going to save $35 million to $60 million a 12 months for people today in Colorado, reducing the rates down by extra than 60 {a3382cfb20fe1297d95e8ba52ce43279dc51037f9223fc2fc6a7bf81a44823df} for the cost of the very same drug. 

These items — and, by the way, you know, the corporation which is earning these medicine and leading to — and charging exorbitant price ranges are offering the identical drug in other nations at noticeably reduced price ranges.  It’s not like there’s another firm often earning this drug — same outfit. 

These factor by themselves will be a fantastic enable.  But to actually solve the challenge, we have to have Congress to act.  That’s what my Construct Back again Better approach will do.

You know, there is very long been chat — I suggest, a extensive time, given that the days when I was again in the Senate — about giving Medicare the electrical power to negotiate decreased drug charges.

Now, Medicare normally takes treatment of hundreds of thousands of persons.  Medicare — my plan — going to — is going to allow for that. 

Every other type of health care service — from the price tag of a doctor’s go to, how significantly a physician can demand for a go to, hospital visits, crutches, wheelchairs — Medicare is permitted to negotiate and say, “We’ll shell out no extra, from the Medicare, than the next amount of money for those people issues.”

As I have stated ahead of, the only factor Medicare is not permitted to negotiate are charges for prescription medication. My program gets rid of that prohibition.

The proposal I produced although I was working for President is that Medicare really should negotiate drug charges throughout the board.

Congress is at this time debating a far more slender eyesight letting Medicare negotiate some of the most highly-priced drugs, specially from those businesses that really do not confront competitiveness for that drug.  We’re going to give that competition by means of — we’re heading to offer that opposition by Medicare.  Medicare is heading to negotiate a fair selling price.

Appropriate now, drug businesses will established a value at whatsoever the market place will bear. 

Some of you might don’t forget when I had the Moonshot going as — when I was Vice President.  I fulfilled with 12 drug firms.  And I agreed I would not name them at the time it was just a private discussion.  I stated, “If any one particular of you arrived up with a drug that treated a individual variety of most cancers, what do you imagine you should really be ready to cost for it?”  They claimed, “Whatever the market would bear.  Whatever it will bear.” 

But that frequently implies a significant amount of men and women just cannot afford it below any circumstance and they’ll die with out it.  That’s unacceptable. 

What we’re proposing is that we’ll negotiate a base — negotiate with the corporation based mostly on a truthful value, a person that demonstrates the fees of the research and enhancement and the need for delivering for a significant prof- — a revenue, but that’s even now very affordable for consumers.

And, by the way, if there was a significant amount that’s invested in it and a fair rate is pretty high-priced, we’re heading to have to determine out society can give for that drug that will help you save life if people today who simply cannot find the money for it.  But that is what we are attempting to get carried out.  And it has to get accomplished.

But not only that my program caps the quantity that seniors
have to commit on prescription medications every single calendar year at no additional than about $3,000 a year, our program states that drug providers
can only increase price ranges primarily based on the price of inflation after it is identified how substantially they’ve invested and what a wholesome earnings constitutes.

Scientific tests have revealed that if we do this, we can save seniors hundreds of bucks a year.

For case in point, an pricey drug for a cancer named “multiple myeloma” can value $20,000 a thirty day period.  20 thousand pounds a month.  Individuals who need to have that drug spend an typical of $1,300 a month out of pocket even with Medicare.

What I’m proposing would lower the full price tag by 1000’s of pounds and seniors would not pay out additional than $250 a month on normal.  That’d be a match changer.

And by the way, it is not just seniors who will advantage.  This would reduced prescription drug charges for all Us residents.  And here’s how: If Medicare charges are offered to non-public insurance policies companies, then it would lessen the expense of employer-centered well being insurance policies protection.

What that usually means is: The moment Medicare negotiates a lessen drug selling price for its beneficiaries, an employer-dependent prepare should not have to hold paying whatever the drug firm calls for.  They must get entry to the very same drug for the same price as Medicare.

So, if you’re not on Medicare — you get your prescription medication as a result of your employer-dependent strategy — your system should shell out the exact same value for that drug as an individual on Medicare.

It means drug corporations would have to offer their medicine to all distributors at the Medicare cost or encounter up to a 95 per cent excise tax.  The price savings for companies and workforce would be billions of dollars a year.

We don’t have to end there.  My strategy expands Medicare by adding dental, eyesight, and hearing, which would make a world of change for thousands and thousands of people today.

And we can acquire some of that cost savings established when Medicare is no extended compelled to overpay prescription medicines and use it to shell out for these further rewards and lessen rates, strengthen accessibility for persons with coverage on Medicaid and the Very affordable Care Act.

You know, at the exact same time, we can make investments in health-related breakthroughs that will also minimize the costs and help save life.

Ideal now, when Us residents overpay for prescription drugs, as well numerous pharmaceutical organizations really do not use the revenue just about sufficient to innovate or research.

Far too many organizations use it on buying back again their stock, inflate their well worth, travel up CEO’s salaries and payment, and find means to box out the competition.

In reality, in accordance to just one study, from 2016 to 2020, pharmaceutical firms expended $577 billion in stock buybacks and dividends — $56 billion additional than what they spent on
all study and growth around that identical period of time.

Search, individuals, they really should be equipped to make a sizeable prog- — prof- — income, but why need to we be paying two or a few situations what every other place in the world is shelling out for a comparable drug?  There is so substantially we can do. 

For illustration, at the Protection Division — for these of you who go over the Protection location — there is one thing identified as the DARPA — the Defense State-of-the-art Analysis Venture Agency — established up solely in just the Protection Division to find out the reducing-edge study shields that boost our national stability.  An outfit that came up with the Online, GPS, and a great deal of stealth technological innovation — a lot of matters. 

I’m proposing we do a related issue.  I suggest we devote $6.5 billion for a similar agency inside of the National Institute of Health and fitness — the NIH –- called “Advanced Investigation Venture Agency” — ARPA-H — like DARPA — to assist speed reducing-edge analysis on how to detect, take care of, and heal health conditions like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cancer.

It is private to so several folks out there, and we can do this.  I’m not criticizing firms that aren’t well prepared to expend billions of bucks on particular projects to study.  I get it.  But if they are not, we should really, to make sure the American — People are included. 

And here’s 1 other large matter that will enable millions of People pay for their prescription medicines: having them reasonably priced wellbeing insurance.

If anyone is anxious about receiving wellbeing insurance policies in the course of the pandemic, there’s aid currently.  For all those who get their insurance policy via the Very affordable Care Act, we’re masking far more persons, with far better rewards, and with the premiums 40 {a3382cfb20fe1297d95e8ba52ce43279dc51037f9223fc2fc6a7bf81a44823df} lower.

That implies the common top quality has been slash by — from $104 a thirty day period to $62 a month.  Sixty-two bucks a thirty day period for top quality wellbeing insurance policy that covers physicians visits, healthcare facility care, and prescription prescription drugs. 

In truth, one 3rd of the shoppers are obtaining designs by means of the Inexpensive Care Act for a lot less than $10 a month.

Previously this 7 days, I declared that a lot more than 2.5 million People have signed up for protection below the Inexpensive Treatment Act considering that I called for the Exclusive Enrollment Time period for the duration of this pandemic.

Individuals, if you really do not have coverage, you can continue to indication up below the Inexpensive Treatment Act as a result of Sunday, August the 15th.  Just go to Health now, and get included.

To all all those folks expressing problem about climbing charges for households, I urge you to help these standard reforms
that will permit drug corporations to nonetheless make billions of pounds, as they have a suitable to do, but will tackle just one of the major out-of-pocket expenditures that family members encounter: prescription prescription drugs.

We can do this.

Allow me close with this: I have long claimed healthcare ought to be a right, not a privilege in this nation.  With my Make Back Superior Strategy, we have an prospect to appear with each other and get us even closer to that reality. 

And the American people today guidance it by frustrating bipartisan margins.  This is not a partisan problem.  Alzheimer’s, diabetic issues, cancer — they really don’t care if you are a Democrat or Republican.  This is about no matter if or not you and your beloved ones can pay for prescription medication you want.

I glance forward to Congress receiving this finished.  And there’s yet another region — this is a different area wherever you can appear together and make a variation in people’s lives.

Thank you.  Could God bless you.  Could God safeguard our troops.  Thank you.

1:47 P.M. EDT