Kaptur Joins Medical Experts in Urging Administration to Reopen NAFTA 2.0 for Negotiation, Scrap Plan to Lock in High Cost of Prescription Drugs

March 22, 2019
Press Release
Renegotiated NAFTA extends monopoly power of Big Pharma companies, blocks competition from generics, and locks in high prescription drug costs

Cleveland — Today, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (OH-9), alongside medical experts and patient advocates, joined together for a press conference to call on the Trump Administration to reopen the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA) for negotiations so that a disastrous provision locking high prescription drug costs for millions of U.S. patients can be eliminated.

 

The USMCA, signed by President Trump in November 2018, will grant Big Pharma companies a 10-year monopoly over a class of drug known as biologics, medicines which are made from living cells. Biologics are some of the most expensive drugs today, with prices ranging from $20,000 to $850,000 per drug per patient. Biologic drugs are used by chronically ill patients, including those battling cancer. As an international trade agreement, the USMCA would supersede U.S. law, leaving Congress unable to change these terrible policies, leaving patients on the hook to pay even more than they do today for life saving medications. Another windfall for Big Pharma.

 

“Biologic drugs are already among the most expensive medications on the market, with prices ranging from $20,000 to $850,000 per drug per patient,” said Rep. Kaptur. “Not only are these drugs exorbitantly expensive, but millions of people across the country rely on them each day. Two-Thirds of drugs prescribed under Medicare Part B are biologics. The extension of Big Pharma’s power under NAFTA 2.0 will delay the market entry of generic and biosimilar drugs into the market, creating a minimum 10-year monopoly for Big Pharma, locking the United States into bad policies, and making these lifesaving treatments even more expensive. President Trump should immediately reopen the NAFTA 2.0 for negotiations so that these disastrous provisions can be removed. Congress will hold hearings so we can ensure our constituents’ priorities are put first.”

 

Rep. Kaptur was joined by:

  • Neighborhood Family Practice CEO Jean Polster
  • Yvonne Oliver, Cleveland Advocacy Coordinate with UHCAN Ohio
  • Amanda Wurst, Protect Our Care
  • John Kennedy, Ohioan with Diabetes & member of Insulin for All 

 

WATCH: Rep. Kaptur’s press conference was streamed live on Facebook

 

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kaptur.house.gov

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