Saturday, June 21, 2008

Slattery campaign slams Sen. Roberts protection racket with Big Pharma

Roberts Protects Drug Companies
at Expense of Kansas Seniors and Taxpayers

Topeka, KS – Today, Senator Pat Roberts held a press conference at Jayhawk Pharmacy. At the event, Roberts said he was opposed to allowing the federal government to negotiate with drug companies for lower drug prices for the Medicare Part D program.

This cycle alone, Roberts has accepted over $90,000 from prescription drug companies and voted to protect the profits of prescription drug companies at the expense of the over 340,000 Kansans enrolled in Medicare Part D.

In 2003, Roberts voted for a Medicare prescription drug bill loaded with perks for drug companies (HR 1, 11/25/03). The bill prohibited Medicare from negotiating prices with drug manufacturers, forcing seniors to pay higher prices for prescription drugs, ballooning the cost of the entitlement for taxpayers, and resulting in an estimated $139 billion a year in additional profits for drug companies.

"We all know how expensive prescription drugs can be," Jim Slattery said. "It's unbelievable that Pat Roberts would vote against allowing the federal government to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices Kansas taxpayers should not be subsidizing the pharmaceutical industry."

Since 2003, Roberts has voted repeatedly against legislation that would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate with drug companies to lower the price of prescription drugs covered under Medicare Part D (S Con Res 18, 3/17/05; S Con Res 83, 3/15/06; S 3, 4/18/07).

"Seniors enrolled in Medicare as well as ordinary taxpayers are charged hundreds of millions of dollars a year to support the program and the inflated cost of prescription drugs," Slattery said. "The Medicare program should be able to negotiate with drug manufacturers to get the lowest price for consumers, just like the Veterans Administration does."

Contact: Slattery for Senate 785.215.0530

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