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U.S. Senators Shaheen and Collins Join Washington Post Live to Discuss Lowering Cost of Insulin and Prescription Drugs

Watch the discussion in full here.

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) joined a Washington Post Live event, moderated by Washington Post reporter Leigh Ann Caldwell, to discuss the high cost of prescription medication in this country. During their discussion, the Senators discussed their bipartisan efforts to pass comprehensive Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBM) reform, lower the cost of insulin, including their INSULIN Act, and why it’s so important to lower the cost of prescription medication for Americans.

Key quotes from Senator Shaheen on the importance of Passing the Bipartisan INSULIN Act and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs:

  • “We have finally said that for people on Medicare, we're going to cap the out-of-pocket costs for insulin at $35. And Senator Collins and I have legislation that would do that for everyone. But more importantly, our bill would get at the underlying list price for insulin.”
  • “There's also a huge cost to the federal government for not addressing [PBM] reform and not addressing the high cost of prescription drugs. We could lower the cost of health care right now. Diabetes is one of the most expensive chronic illnesses we have in this country, we have 37 million people who have diabetes. And if we could address the high cost of insulin, that would be a huge saver for the federal government.”
  • “This is an issue we've got to address from a policy perspective, but also from a personal perspective—to make sure that people have access to what they need to live productive lives.”

Senator Shaheen has led efforts across the aisle to lower health care costs for Granite Staters and Americans. Earlier this month, Senators Shaheen and Collins penned an op-ed urging Congress to act on lowering insulin costs. She leads bipartisan efforts in Congress with Senator Collins, as co-chairs of the Senate Diabetes Caucus, to roll back more than a decade of insulin prices hikes, and she has consistently held insulin manufacturers, insurers and PBMs accountable for the skyrocketing cost of life-saving insulin. The pair also lead the Improving Needed Safeguards for Users of Lifesaving Insulin Now (INSULIN) Act, a bipartisan proposal that would encourage insulin manufacturers to reduce list prices, while extending patient protections to foster competition and broader access to desperately needed insulin products. Earlier this year, Shaheen and Collins reintroduced the Ensuring Timely Access to Generics Act, which would increase competition and help lower the cost of prescription drugs. In addition, Shaheen introduced bipartisan legislation to close the orphan drug loophole that drug companies use to keep cheaper, generic medication off the market and to rake in profits.