April 15, 2015

Retiree Organization Warns That Prescription Drug Costs May Increase Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

Fast Track Bill is a Bad Deal for Seniors

The following statement was issued today by Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in anticipation of the “fast track” trade promotion authority bill by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR).

“This is a fast track to higher drug prices. Americans pay the highest prescription drug prices in the world, and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal could make drugs even more expensive for seniors.

“Retirees are deeply concerned about the TPP and the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation. Unfortunately, the fast track procedures of TPA would enable changes to prescription drug prices to occur without open and full debate.

“Leaked versions of this secret deal suggest that governments would have to pay ‘competitive, market-driven prices’ for drugs and medical devices.

“That sounds reasonable, but in reality it limits the ability of the U.S. government to regulate drug prices and promote the use of proven, generic drugs – two ways that Medicare and Medicaid have worked to keep prescription drug prices affordable for retirees and low-income Americans.

“The U.S. government should be doing more to rein in prescription drug prices, which grew 13 percent just last year, not conducting secret negotiations that will reduce our ability to protect retirees and control government spending. The Alliance urges members of Congress to reject this agreement.”

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