(Washington, D.C.) – On Thursday, June 6, 2019, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate health committee, visited a community health clinic in Seattle where she shared her plans to lower drug prices in Washington and across the country. At a news conference in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, Senator Murray was joined by local advocates and patients who shared how high drug prices have personally impacted their lives and families, while Senator Murray highlighted similar stories she has heard from families and providers across Washington state as she outlined some of the plans she’s focusing on to bring down prescription drug costs and level the playing field for Washington families.
Additionally, at a roundtable with local labor leaders earlier that day, Senator Murray and Representative Pramila Jayapal (D, WA-07) discussed their recent legislation—the Protecting the Right to Organize, or PRO, Act—which would strengthen federal protections for workers to form a union and advocate better pay and working conditions.
Check out some of the coverage from Senator Murray’s Thursday in Seattle, below, and learn more about her recent work in the U.S. Senate to stand up for Washington state’s working families:
“Lowering the cost of prescription drugs is an issue agreed on by a wide swath of politicians… As the ranking Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., is better positioned than most to do something about it. Murray was in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood on Thursday to talk about legislation she has introduced, and plans to introduce, this year to lower health-care costs. The senator spoke in the lobby of the Country Doctor Community Clinic, flanked by clinic employees and people struggling to pay for prescription drugs. ‘People should be able to manage their health care without worrying about whether they can afford their rent or their mortgage or even their groceries,’ she said.”
“Senator Patty Murray is drawing a new line in the sand in the fight to curb the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs… She laid out several legislative proposals to tackle high drug costs, including banning what’s called ‘pay for play schemes’ in which drug companies pay their competitors to delay the release of cheaper generic drugs”
“[Murray] says big companies put up roadblocks to stop affordable, generic, unbranded drugs from going to the market and that unfairly keeps prices high for the people that need those drugs… Murray says she has spoken to several Washington families who have to choose between paying to eat or paying for their life-saving medication”
“Senator Patty Murray wants to crack down on frivolous drug patents. She told the story of one Washingtonian who has been stuck paying top prices for decades: ‘The drug that he needs has now sought over 100 drug patents, slightly changed, to keep it free from generic competition, and those patents now last until 2036…’”
“Murray and Jayapal met with local labor leaders in Seattle on Thursday to get their input on this effort and to hear about the struggles workers are facing when they try to join together in unions or negotiate a first contract. They included representatives from Machinists (IAM) District 751, SEIU 775, Inlandboatmen’s Union, UFCW 21, UNITE HERE 8, and the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.”