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Gillibrand pushing legislation to lower prescription drug costs

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO News (file photo)

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is promoting legislation she hopes will get the cost of prescription drugs under control. At a stop in Syracuse Monday, Gillibrand touted a package of three bills that attacks high drug prices from three different directions.

"One is letting Medicare negotiate in bulk, HHS, just like they do for the VA Medicaid, said Gillibrand. “One is to let New Yorkers and anyone else who wants to buy drugs in Canada to go ahead and do that, and one is let any pharmacy or bulk purchaser, buy in bulk from these other countries."

Gillibrand says the three pieces of legislation would jack up competition, and that would force drug prices down. Along with making medication costs for seniors more reasonable, it could save the federal government millions of dollars in Medicare Part D costs.

Gillibrand said in 2020, drug manufacturers raised prices of almost 900 prescription drugs an average of 5%. Gillibrand said this kind of legislation just makes sense, and would hope Democrats and Republicans could work together on it.

“I think this is an idea that is deeply bipartisan. 88% of Americans support it, so I hope we can get some bipartisan legislation passed. If not, if we do reform the filibuster, this could be included,” she said.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.