U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Press Release

Baldwin and Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Lower Drug Costs and Hold Big Pharma Accountable for Price Hikes


By - Apr 4th, 2023 10:12 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced two bills to lower prescription drug costs and increase access to life-saving medications for Wisconsin families. The Lower Drug Costs for Families Act would punish big drug companies for raising prescription drug prices faster than the rate of inflation and the Ensuring Timely Access to Generics Act would tackle sky-high prescription drug costs by increasing competition for generic drugs.

“We cannot continue to allow big drug companies to get away with jacking up prescription drug prices while Wisconsinites are being forced to forgo their life-saving medications because they simply cannot afford it,” said Senator Baldwin. “I’m proud to join my Democratic and Republican colleagues in holding big pharmaceutical companies accountable for their predatory pricing that’s putting the health of patients in jeopardy and helping lower the cost of prescription drugs so Wisconsinites can get the medications they need to survive at an affordable price.”

The Lower Drug Costs for Families Act builds on the Inflation Reduction Act’s work to lower health costs for seniors with Medicare by ensuring that all Wisconsinites are protected from exorbitant increases in prescription drug prices—including private health insurance and employer-sponsored health plans. Under current law, the federal government can only limit drug price increases faster than the rate of inflation for drugs purchased and used by people with Medicare. This legislation would require drug companies to pay a penalty for increasing prices faster than the rate of inflation for patients with private health insurance and Medicare and returning the collected fines directly into the Medicare Trust Fund. This legislation would extend Medicare solvency and save the government $34 billion over ten years.

The legislation was led by U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and cosponsored by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tina Smith (D-MN), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

The Ensuring Timely Access to Generics Act would work to increase competition from generic drugs through better oversight of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) citizen petition process. The citizen petition process allows interested stakeholders, including drug companies, to bring concerns to the FDA’s attention regarding pending applications. Currently, the process is being exploited by bad actors who fill citizen petitions in order to delay the approval of generic competitors and extend their patent protections. This legislation ensures the FDA has the ability to reject citizen petitions if they believe that the primary purpose of the petition is to delay the approval of an application, thereby increasing competition in the marketplace and lowering costs for patients.

The legislation was led by U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Susan Collins (R-ME), and cosponsored by Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Mike Braun (R-IN).

Senator Baldwin has been a fierce champion in holding big drug companies accountable and expanding access to affordable health care for Wisconsinites by passing legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and cap the cost of insulin at $35-a-month for Medicare recipients. Recently, Senator Baldwin introduced bipartisan legislation requiring pharmaceutical companies to be transparent with their customers and explain to the public why they are raising drug prices on working families.

An online version of this release is available here.

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. While it is believed to be reliable, Urban Milwaukee does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

Recent Press Releases by U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin

Baldwin Delivers Over $15 Million For Green Bay and Appleton to Improve Public Transportation

Funding, from Baldwin-supported Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will go toward zero-emission buses and new maintenance center for Northeast Wisconsin

Baldwin Delivers $2.1 Million to Expand Affordable Housing, Lower Costs for Families in Milwaukee

Funding will be used to address Milwaukee’s racial homeownership gap and aging housing stock

One thought on “Baldwin and Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Lower Drug Costs and Hold Big Pharma Accountable for Price Hikes”

  1. robertm60a3 says:

    I’m all for preventing large drug companies from exploiting the government and people. There is a difference between reasonable and exploitive.

    I don’t understand the lack of effort of either Senator Baldwin or Johnson to hold those in the U.S. Government that fails the people accountable for those failures.

    Baby formula failure. Who was fired? A plant was closed for health reasons – understandable. But, then, nothing until the shelves were empty of baby formula? Why not start looking at manufacturers’ temporary certifications in Australia, Germany, and Canada the next day? Emergency certification of other U.S. Companies? Nothing, and no one fired?

    I sent a letter to both Senator Baldwin and Johnson concerning Senate approval of the appointment of Mr. Lowman as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment – nothing. Then there was a letter, again sent to both Senators concerning the disgrace of “Fat Leonard” and again basically nothing.

    If Congress does nothing when there is a failure and approves promotions for those that fail – what is expected – but more failure? Look at Afghanistan, Iraqi, and Vietnam.

    Then there used to be newspapers that covered what Congress was doing. What happened?

    Following is the letter I asked Senator Johnson and Baldwin to send . . .

    United States Senate
    Washington, DC

    Honorable Carlos Del Toro
    Secretary of the Navy
    1000 Navy Pentagon,
    Washington, DC 20350

    A constituent recently brought to my attention a series of Secretarial letters of Censure signed by the former Secretary of the Navy, Richard V. Spencer. These letters document behavior that was a discredit to the proud history of the United States Navy and less than what should be expected by the citizens of the United States and those serving in the military.
    My constitution has asked for information on the handling of these cases and what consideration, if any, was given considering the authority granted to the Secretary of the Navy under the provisions of 10 U.S. Code § 1370 Retirement of Regular Commissioned Officers in the Highest Grade in Which Served Satisfactorily. The law provides that where an officer has committed misconduct, the Secretary of the Navy may deem the officer to have not served satisfactorily, and the grade next lower shall be the retired grade of the officer.
    Effective January 1, 2021, Subsection (f) of § 1370 provides the Secretary of the Navy with the authority to reopen a retirement grade determination “If substantial evidence comes to light after the retirement that could have led to the determination of a different retired grade if known by competent authority at the time of retirement.”
    While I understand that the final decision is your, this authority would allow you to review the following cases where the behavior was less than the high standards of the U.S. Navy and where justified, as authorized by law (10 U.S. Code § 1370(f)(6)), administratively reduce the retired rank to the next lower level.
    The following is a list of officers, the date of the Secretarial Letter of Censure, with quotes from the Letter of Censure:
    a. Rear Admiral (Upper Half) Mark C. Montgomery, USN (Ret), from Censure dated November 19, 2018
    “. . . demonstrated exceedingly poor judgment and leadership by repeatedly and improperly accepting gifts . . . improperly endorsed, provided information to, . . . made false official statements to mislead . . . you also committed the offense of graft, . . . brought discredit upon the Navy. . . “
    b. Rear Admiral (Upper Half) Richard Wren, USN (Ret), from Censure dated June 14, 2018
    “. . . demonstrated exceedingly poor judgment and leadership by repeatedly and improperly accepting gifts . . .you lied and misled the investigator rather than take responsibility for your actions. . . . brought ill-repute and disgrace upon our honored institution. . .led officers under your charge and your leadership to imitate your poor behavior.”
    c. Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Kenneth J. Norton, USN (Ret), from Censure dated November 28, 2017
    “. . . demonstrated exceedingly poor judgment and leadership by repeatedly and improperly accepting gifts. . . attended a private party . . . paid nothing . . . including services of prostitutes . . . you directed your subordinate officers to attend . . . approximately $9,000 on food, alcohol, and the services of prostitutes. . . . lead a reasonable person . . . to believe that you used your public office for private gain. . . provided the worst type of example for subordinate officers . . . deviation from the standards . . . disgrace . . .”
    d. Captain Timothy Conroy, USN (Ret), from Censure dated June 14, 2018
    “. . . demonstrated exceedingly poor judgment and leadership by repeatedly and improperly accepting gifts . . . These events involved excessive alcohol consumption and included the presence of women identified as prostitutes, . . . By encouraging subordinate officers to attend these events, . . . to identify and target other officers. . . It is clear that you did not care about the reputation of the Navy or the example you were setting for subordinate officers.”
    e. Captain Ricardo Martinez, USN (Ret), from Censure dated April 29, 2019
    “From February 2002 to July 2006, . . . you demonstrated exceedingly poor judgment and blatant disregard for principles of ethical conduct. . . . You also committed graft . . . Based on the evidence reviewed, the total value of the gifts you wrongfully received or solicited was $15,845.42. . . . you willfully derelict in your duties. . . .”
    The Sailors of the United States Navy deserve the best leadership available. Based on the behavior documents in the cited Letters of Censure (copies attached), my constitution believes that there was a failure in leadership. It is not in the security interest of the United States to reward those that fail our Sailors and bring discredit to the United States Navy.
    Please provide me with a written response so that I may provide my constitution concerning actions that you have taken or plan to take to reduce the rank of these officers in retirement.

    5 Enclosures Sincerely,
    Letters of Censure

    Ron Johnson

Leave a Reply

You must be an Urban Milwaukee member to leave a comment. Membership, which includes a host of perks, including an ad-free website, tickets to marquee events like Summerfest, the Wisconsin State Fair and the Florentine Opera, a better photo browser and access to members-only, behind-the-scenes tours, starts at $9/month. Learn more.

Join now and cancel anytime.

If you are an existing member, sign-in to leave a comment.

Have questions? Need to report an error? Contact Us