Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
GLARING INADEQUACIES IN REPUBLICAN PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLAN
(House of Representatives - June 26, 2002)
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[Page H3933] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] GLARING INADEQUACIES IN REPUBLICAN PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLAN (Mr. BROWN of Ohio asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.) Mr. BROWN of Ohio. Mr. Speaker, last Friday morning, while most Americans were still asleep, the Republican plan to create a drug benefit was pushed with brute force through the Committee on Energy and Commerce. While the Republican plan has too many flaws to mention in 1 minute, its most glaring inadequacy is that it makes no provision for dealing with the outrageous prices Americans pay for prescription drugs. Apparently, Republicans and their corporate sponsors in the brand- name drug industry do not believe high prices are a problem. Yet last year, prices for the 50 most prescribed drugs for seniors have risen three times the rate of inflation, and the prices for some popular drugs rose by 10 times the rate of inflation. Last week I sought to introduce an amendment that would have reduced drug prices for all Americans by reducing patent abuse and enhancing market competition. But the Republican leadership, which loves to champion the virtues of the free market, would not even let the Committee on Commerce consider the amendment. If we need another reason, another reason to oppose the Republican plan, which was written by and for the big drug companies, let it be known that the Republican plan does absolutely nothing to reduce drug prices. ____________________