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ISHPEMING – U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) today unveiled new legislation aimed at lowering the cost of prescription drugs during an event at the Ishpeming Senior Center. According to a press release from the Senator, Americans pay – by far – the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. Prices for the most popular brand-name drugs have risen 208% from 2008 to 2016, according to AARP.

“I continue to stand up to the drug lobbyists and special interests because it is morally wrong to keep prices for your medications so high,” said Senator Stabenow. “The passage of my legislation would make a major difference for Michigan families.” 

“Ishpeming Senior Center is excited to host Senator Stabenow as she announces important legislation to lower the price of prescription drugs,” said Elyse Bertucci, Director of the Ishpeming Senior Center. “Our seniors depend on access to affordable medication and we welcome Senator Stabenow’s proposals to bring down costs.” 

“Michigan pharmacists are active members of our communities and are committed to providing quality care to our patients and their families,” said Tyler Jenema, PharmD and a Michigan pharmacist. “We support Senator Stabenow’s Know the Lowest Price Act, because we should never be prohibited from helping our patients pay less to get the prescriptions they need.”

Pharmaceutial and health product lobbying reached $279 million last year, more than any other industry. Stabenow is announcing three pieces of legislation that will combat rising prescription drug costs:

· The bipartisan Know the Lowest Price Act (S.2553) cracks down on outrageous gag clauses that stop pharmacists from telling customers that they could pay less for their prescription if they pay out of pocket.

· The Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act (S.1688) would allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services to directly negotiate with drug companies for price discounts of their drugs under Medicare Part D, which is banned under current law.

· And the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act (S. 469) authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue regulations permitting wholesalers, licensed U.S. pharmacies, and individuals to import drugs from licensed Canadian sellers that are manufactured at facilities inspected by the Food and Drug Administration. Currently, Americans pay about 40 percent more on prescriptions per person than Canadians do.