Rep. Welch Discusses High Price of Drugs at Energy & Commerce Committee Markup
Mr. Chairman, this is a very important bill and I’m looking forward to it being passed. But I take up what Kathy Castor just said: The price of prescription drugs is killing us. Pharma does good things. It creates pain-relieving and life-extending products. It’s good for us, but the cost is crushing us.
We have an example of EpiPen where if people buy it in Canada it’s like 250 bucks; in the US it’s $600. And the pain to families—I got a letter from a Vermonter who said, “Mr. Welch, I have a choice between paying for something I cannot afford, or risking a loss (of her son) that I could never endure.”
We pay the highest prices in the world. Now, why don’t we have consideration for that mom struggling to protect her son when there is an ability to do that? Drug prices and profits are the highest they’ve ever been. The top 10 executives were paid $347 million dollars. Doesn’t that mother, doesn’t a truck driver, doesn’t a farmer have the right to the consideration of this committee?
This is a big problem in American, 330 million people live here. There’s 54 in this room who today have an opportunity to provide some help to the people we represent. Mr. Chairman, I hope we do.