Congresswoman Kim Schrier, M.D., D-WA, Eighth District, voted Thursday for HR 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.
Rep. Schrier gave the following speech on the House floor in Washington, D.C., in support of the bill:
“I’m so excited about HR 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act. I am the first pediatrician elected to Congress. And currently the only female doctor in Congress. I am also a patient with Type 1 Diabetes. My life depends on insulin, so the high cost of prescription drugs affects me and people like me every day.
I have driven over 7,300 miles this year, traversing my district and talking with people about the issues that matter to them. They want to know “what are you going to do to bring down the cost of prescription drugs?” It doesn’t matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican if you cannot afford your medications.
I understand this issue, both as a doctor and as a patient. Because it is not theoretical for me, or for my patients.
When we talk about the cost of insulin, I have felt that personally. I have seen the price of my insulin go from $40 twenty years ago, to $300 today. That is the price for a bottle that holds 10 mL – two teaspoons – making it comparable in price to cobra venom.
Before being elected to Congress, I worked for nearly 20 years as a pediatrician in the suburbs of Seattle, three hours from the Canadian border.
Mostly, I prescribed electronically. But when patients asked for a printed prescription, I understood why. They would drive up to Canada with those prescriptions. Because in Canada the $600 Epi Pen costs $50. In Canada the $300 insulin costs $50.
Right now, Americans pay — on average — three to four times what our neighbors in Canada or people in France, Germany, England, Australia and Japan, pay for their medications. That is unconscionable. We should not be subsidizing the rest of the developed world’s medications.
I know that my district can’t be all that different from the districts that you all serve. All of our constituents are looking to us to fix this problem of out-of-control drug price inflation. I am so pleased today to deliver HR3 for the people we all serve.
This is groundbreaking legislation that will make a meaningful difference in the lives and the health of Americans in every one of our districts.
The American people cannot wait another day for this to become law.”