Media Advisory: Sanders to Hold Subcommittee Hearing on Soaring Cost of Prescription Drugs

WASHINGTON, March 18 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Chair of the Subcommittee on Primary Health And Retirement Security of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, announced a subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, March 23, at 10 a.m. to address why Americans pay the highest prices for prescription drugs in the world. This will be Sanders’ first hearing as chairman of the subcommittee this Congress.

Last year, five of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. made $44.9 billion in profits. Meanwhile, one in four adults struggle to afford their medications, and 79 percent of Americans say the price of prescription drugs is too high. In 2019, Americans spent $369.7 billion on prescription drugs, more than $1,000 per capita. The average price of insulin in the U.S. is $98.70, while in Japan $14.40, $12 in Canada, $11 in Germany, $9.08 in France, and $7.52 in the UK.

A majority of Americans believe there’s not as much regulation as there should be to help limit the price of prescription drugs. The greed of the prescription drug industry is killing Americans and it has got to stop.

In the last Congress, Sanders sponsored the Prescription Drug Price Relief Act (S. 102), which would cut prescription drug prices in half by pegging prices in the United States to median drug prices in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Japan.

The hearing will be livestreamed on the HELP Committee’s website and Sanders’ social media pages.

What: Hearing of the Subcommittee on Primary Health and Retirement to consider “Why Does the U.S. Pay the Highest Prices in the World for Prescription Drugs?”
When: Tuesday, March 23, 2021, 10:00 AM
Where: 430 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Aaron Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH, Professor of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Nav Persaud, MD, MA, Canada Research Chair in Health Justice, University of Toronto, ON, Canada. 
Elia Spates, Derby, VT
Alex Brill, Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute