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Americans for Prosperity Press Release

AFP Launches New Ad Campaign on H.R. 3

May 4, 2021 by AFP

Arlington, Va. – Today, Americans for Prosperity announced the launch of a new ad campaign aimed at protecting Americans’ access to prescription drugs by stopping H.R 3.

While the goal of the legislation – lowering prescription drug prices – is laudable, the plan is deeply flawed and would cause far more harm than good, leading to widespread drug shortages and stifling the development of new life-saving medicines.

The new ads will urge the following lawmakers to oppose H.R. 3: Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02), Rep. David Price (NC-04), Rep. Chris Pappas (NH-01), Rep. Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Rep. Elaine Luria (VA-02), and Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07).


“A rationing scheme that puts the government in charge of Americans’ medicine cabinets is the wrong prescription that would only hurt those who need help,” said Dean Clancy, Senior Health Policy Fellow at Americans for Prosperity. “Instead of H.R. 3, lawmakers should give Americans a personal option that brings drug prices down and boosts access to prescription medicines by increasing competition, expanding choice, and promoting innovation.”

A government takeover of pharmaceutical drugs is the wrong prescription.

In a 2019 report, the White House Council of Economic Advisers estimated that the legislation would cause the pharmaceutical industry to produce as many as 100 fewer products over the next decade. The U.S. would not only experience less access to drugs and fewer medical breakthroughs, but price controls would also reduce annual economic output by $375 billion to $1 trillion – around 10 to 30 times what the bill is projected to save.

Price controls have failed in other areas of the globe.

In the European Union, price controls have led to drug shortages. Meanwhile, while Americans enjoy access to 89 percent of new drugs, Canadians only have access to about half, because its government deems most new drugs “too expensive.” In fact, price controls made Canada heavily reliant on the U.S. for COVID-19 vaccines by driving drug companies out of the country for decades.

A personal option for prescription drugs is a far better way to reduce prices and boost access to drugs.

Instead of H.R. 3’s approach, lawmakers should give Americans a personal option that brings drug prices down and boosts access to prescription medicines by increasing competition, expanding choice, and promoting innovation. The personal option, a bottom-up alternative to a government takeover of health care, would reduce drug prices while boosting access through the following reforms:

  • Faster Drug Approvals. Reform the FDA’s drug approval process to reduce prescription drug costs. Grant automatic approval to any therapy approved as safe by advanced countries we trust.
  • More Generic Competition. Promote robust generic competition through sensible, bipartisan reforms that respect the just rights of inventors. For example, end “pay-for-delay” agreements, by which brand-name drug companies persuade would-be generic competitors to delay bringing their products to market, thus effectively extending their own effective monopoly. This and similar reforms can be found in House bill H.R. 19 and the Senate’s Wyden-Grassley drug reform proposal.
  • Tax-Free Savings for All. Let every American save and spend for prescription drugs, tax-free. Allow every Americans have a tax-free Health Savings Account (HSA) and thus a generous discount on every out-of-pocket prescription-drug expense. For lower-income individuals, provide means-tested government contributions, so they too can benefit from this powerful tool. Codify the current federal rule on Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), so employees can use pre-tax contributions from their employer to purchase personally owned, portable health insurance that includes good-quality prescription drug coverage that meets their individual needs.
  • Better Medicare Drug Coverage. Auto-enroll all new Medicare enrollees into a high-quality, low-premium Medicare Advantage plan that includes good drug coverage, while allowing them to opt into original Medicare if they wish. Protect those who opt into original Medicare from excessive drug costs by capping their total Part D out-of-pocket cost exposure and eliminating the infamous “donut hole” coverage gap.
  • Legal Drug Importation. Allow individuals and importers to bring legal prescription drugs into this country without hindrance.

Learn more

Why drug price controls are still a bad idea for lawmakers to consider

Inside the effort to stop drug rationing and give patients more access to affordable prescription drugs