Several South Florida area elected officials have joined the People's Progressive Caucus of Miami-Dade in opposing predatory pharmaceutical price gouging made possible by existing policy gaps.
On Monday, January 1 the PPC called on elected officials as well as the candidates for Florida's 26th and 27th Congressional Districts to oppose miami-based pharmaceutical company NextSource Biotechnology's 1400% price increase on life-saving brain cancer drug Gleostine.
As of Monday, January 8, our call for policy reform and investigative action has been joined by State Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez, State Senator Annette Taddeo, State Representative David Richardson, Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell, and candidate for Florida Congressional District 27 Michael A. Hepburn. (full quotes below).
We thank these elected officials and candidates for standing up against these extortionate business practices and for seeking long-term policy solutions.
State Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez:
"Price gouging in healthcare is reprehensible and unacceptable. Part of my desire to serve in Congress is about continuing our work on behalf of those without access to affordable quality healthcare and on behalf of consumers. I have seen and heard for my constituents time and time again that they are having to skip refills or skip doses in order to afford their prescription.
At the federal level we absolutely need to tackle costs in healthcare, especially prescription drug prices, and to curb the worst abuses of the pharmaceutical industry. In the Florida Legislature I am speaking to state agencies and my colleagues about requiring companies that market or manufacture drugs to disclose and justify price increases, following the lead of states that have taken action like California, Louisiana, Nevada, Maryland and North Carolina (and those who have considered such steps like Michigan and Massachusetts)."
State Senator Annette Taddeo:
"It is terrible dealing with the trauma of cancer only to find out a private company bought your medicine and jacked up the prices on you by 2400%. But now we find out that the guy who did it all is accused of sexual harassment and it is just nauseating.
This is why we need #MedicaidForAll. This is why we need price control on life saving drugs. I'm disappointed in this Miami native."
State Representative David Richardson:
"I stand in support with the People’s Progressive Caucus of Miami-Dade and others to oppose predatory pharmaceutical pricing as demonstrated by Next Source Biotechnology and further call on the State Attorney to investigate whether Next Source has engaged in price gouging and anti-competitive practices.
As a candidate for Congress, I am the first and only Democrat in this race to call for a single-payer health care system (Medicare-for-All), as supported by Senator Sanders and other progressive Democrats. I fully believe that health care is not a privilege, but a right for ALL Americans. A Medicare-for-All insurance program will prevent out-of-control drug prices, as well as exploitative pricing practices demonstrated by Next Source and other predatory pharmaceutical companies."
Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell (Twitter):
"Based on letter from @MDCProgressives and reports by @CBSNews & @MiamiNewTimes I have requested AG @PamBondi & State Atty @KathyFndzRundle to look into potential price gouging of vital cancer drug Lomustine"
Candidate for Congress Michael A. Hepburn:
"The pharmaceutical industry, or 'Big Pharma,' gouges the American people because the government forbids Medicare from negotiating drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. Under our plan, this regulation will be eliminated and Medicare will be allowed to negotiate the best possible prices for the American people."