Rep. Zabel, Policy Committee discuss rising cost of prescription drugs

HAVERTOWN, Sept. 11 – State Rep. Mike Zabel, D-Delaware, today hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on the rising cost of prescription drugs at Haverford Township Building.

Zabel requested the hearing to discuss reasons for the rise in cost of prescription drugs and ways to reduce those costs so medical care is affordable for everyone throughout Pennsylvania. Zabel was joined by legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.

“It’s unfathomable that folks are often faced with a choice of which, if any, medicines they can afford to take,” said Zabel. “We must get to the point where people who need medicine are able to purchase that medicine without the fear of going broke. The gouging of prices for life-saving drugs needs to be curbed, which is why I’m introducing legislation to cap insulin prices.”

Added Sturla: “I commend Representative Zabel for spotlighting this important issue. It is unacceptable that Americans spend an average of about $1,200 a year on prescription drugs, more than people pay in any other developed country in the world.”

Hearing testifiers included: Ray Landis, advocacy manager, AARP Pennsylvania; Dr. Kevin Caputo, president and chief of Behavioral Health, Crozer-Keystone Health Systems; Ashlie Van Meter, senior director of State Affairs, Association for Accessible Medicines; Patrick Keenan, director of Consumer Protection and Policy, Pennsylvania Health Access Network; and Brian Hegarty, writer, educator and content strategist at Insulin Nation.

This hearing is among a series being held across the commonwealth on House Democrats’ Plan4PA, which focuses on putting people first by growing good jobs, providing health care access, creating quality schools and providing training for jobs in a fair economy. More information about the plan is available at www.plan4pa.com, and hearing materials can be found at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee.

Video of Zabel's remarks from today’s policy hearing is available for download here.