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March 27, 2018

King, Health Care Advocates and Professionals Outline Ideas to Lower Costs of Medication

King announces support for bills to increase access to generic medications, require greater pricing transparency

AUGUSTA, ME – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) today joined health professionals and advocates at Maine Veterans’ Home in Augusta to discuss ways to lower the high cost of drugs and increase transparency of drug prices. During the conversation, Senator King outlined his support for the Drug-Price Transparency in Communications Act and the Creating and Restoring Equal Access To Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act. The Drug-Price Transparency in Communications Act would require prices to be disclosed to consumers and to prescribers. The CREATES Act is bipartisan legislation Senator King has cosponsored that aims to increase access to generic medications.

“A big part of our nation’s growing deficit in the next ten to fifteen years will be the high cost of health care, and drug-pricing is a significant part of that problem,” Senator King said. “It’s really going to impact everybody’s budget, from hardworking men and women trying to support their families, to Maine seniors, many of whom live on fixed incomes, to employers who pay the cost of private insurance. These common sense bills get to the heart of this issue – driving down drug costs and adding much-needed transparency to the pharmaceutical industry – so people who have access to health care can actually afford it. Nobody should have to choose between heating their home, putting food on the table, and getting the life-saving drug they or a loved one needs to survive.”

In Washington, Senator King has supported common sense legislation to drive down the costs of medication in the United States. During the health care debate in July 2017, Senator King outlined a roadmap of priorities to stabilize the marketplace and lower the costs of treatment and coverage for people across the country. Included in his roadmap was the Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act, bipartisan legislation that would allow for the importation of drugs from licensed Canadian pharmacies for personal use if they have the same active ingredients, route of administration, dosage form, and strength as a prescription drug approved by the FDA. Senator King also supports the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act, legislation that would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs under Medicare.

Following the conversation on drug-pricing, Senator King joined the Agricultural Council of Maine (AgCOM) at the Maine Farm Bureau in Augusta for a listening session on Maine’s agricultural priorities ahead of consideration of the 2018 Farm Bill in Congress. In September 2017, Senator King introduced the bipartisan CREAATE Act, legislation that aims to revitalize the USDA’s export promotion programs to help American farm products reach foreign markets. In May 2017, Senators King and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) reintroduced the PRIME Act, which would give individual states the freedom to permit intrastate distribution of custom-slaughtered meat such as beef, pork, goat or lamb to consumers, restaurants, hotels, boarding houses, and grocery stores.

Senator King will end his day discussing economic and workforce development and efforts to grow the forest products industry, as he builds on his economic plan to help revitalize and strengthen communities in rural Maine. He will first join Muriel Mosher, President of Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership, to visit the current Trafton Road Development site in Waterville, which includes light manufacturing and distribution businesses on the former Wyandotte Mill site. He will also discuss the 120,000-square foot commercial property that Trafton Properties plans to build on an abutting parcel. Economic development on Trafton Road has been bolstered in part because of infrastructure funding from the Economic Development Administration for the Maine Department of Transportation to support the construction of the Interstate 95 Trafton Road Interchange. Senator King will then tour Hammond Lumber Company in Belgrade and hear from workers and senior management officials about ways to grow and strengthen the forest products sector in Maine.


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