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Congressman Pat Ryan Calls Big Pharma a Big Rip-off


Rep. Pat Ryan explaining his bill to fight Big Pharma


Congressman Pat Ryan has introduced legislation to lower the price of prescription drugs for Hudson Valley families. The “Stopping Pharma’s Ripoffs and Drug Savings For All Act” would stop pharmaceutical companies from what he said was abusing the current U.S. patent law and make less-costly, generic alternatives easier to produce.

“For too long, Big Pharma has been allowed to game the system, rake in record profits, and rip off hard-working Hudson Valley families. I’m pushing relentlessly to finally hold Big Pharma accountable and lower the cost of prescription drugs,” said Ryan. “This bipartisan legislation holds Big Pharma accountable and lowers drug prices,” Ryan said. “It lowers drug costs across the board and generations.”

JT Crawford suffers from Type 1 Diabetes.Fifteen-year-old JT Crawford traveled from Middletown to attend Ryan’s Poughkeepsie announcement. With a plea for help for diabetics like him, he said ,“I’ve had Type 1 diabetes since I was 12 years old. I’ve had to rely on insulin and medical necessities on a daily basis to keep me healthy.” With a large crowd listening, he expressed his frustration. “I loathe the fact that kids like me, who already have so much on their plate, also have stress about affording insulin.” Ryan told the crowd that Crawford had even traveled to see Ryan in Washington to advocate for lowering the cost of insulin.

The CEO of Cornerstone Family Healthcare, David Jolly, called the legislation “crucial in addressing the inflated costs of prescription drugs caused by the misuse of the patent system by pharmaceutical companies,” and added “By ensuring that brand name drug companies must justify additional patents, this act promotes affordable healthcare, aligning with our mission to provide accessible services to underserved communities. We commend this effort to make essential medications more affordable and accessible for all Americans.”

Ryan explained that drug companies can develop a new drug, receive a 20-year patent for it, and charge whatever they want. When the patent is set to expire, the manufacturer is permitted to make trivial changes to the medication and receive a new 20-year patent, preventing a lower-priced generic drug with the same effects from being sold. The practice is known as “double-patenting”. “The cost of prescription drugs is often times so exorbitantly high, many older adults on a fixed budget struggle to afford them. This could be a life or death situation,” said Orange County Office for the Aging Director AnnMarie Maglione. “The Pharmaceutical companies are long in need of regulation, review and reform. We are fortunate to have such a strong, passionate advocate working for us in Washington as Congressman Pat Ryan to address this.”

The average American spends $1,200 per year on prescription drug costs. While generic drugs constitute 80 percent of prescriptions filled for Americans, name-brand drugs account for 80 percent of prescription drug spending by Americans


Source: Mid-Hudson News











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