Ulster County native and Congressman Pat Ryan is diving head-first into a one-man war against Big Pharma. At a dinner provided by the Senior Friendship Center in Poughkeepsie on Nov. 21, Ryan stopped by to discuss some pressing issues. Ryan revealed that he introduced legislation to lower prescription drug prices. The “Stopping Pharma’s Ripoffs and Drug Savings For All Act” is intended to decrease the price of necessary pharmaceutical drugs for individuals in the Hudson Valley region.
Ryan represents the 18th District of New York in the US House of Representatives; in other words, the suburbs and exurbs north of New York City. This district covers all of Orange County, and most of Dutchess and Ulster Counties.
Rokosz Most from Hudson Valley One reported that “Ryan’s bill primarily focuses on the patenting portion of the medicine food chain.” In the same article covering his speech, Ryan states “This is where the rubber meets the road. Trying to pass laws that will rein in the profits of the pharmaceutical companies promises to be a Herculean task.”
In an article published by Mid Hudson News, Ryan said, “For too long, big pharma has been allowed to game the system, rake in record profits and rip off hard-working Hudson Valley families. I’m pushing relentlessly to finally hold big pharma accountable and lower the cost of prescription drugs.”
Following the announcement of the bill, the official press release was posted to Ryan’s promotional website on Nov. 21. The press release reveals that, “Legislation will make it easier to produce generic drugs, lowering prices for Hudson Valley families.” In addition to fighting at a pharmaceutical level, Ryan is holding other Hudson Valley based companies accountable for egregious bills.
In this, Congressman Ryan is attempting to “make efforts to hold Central Hudson accountable for its egregious billing practices, demanding the resignation of its CEO and holding a workshop series to connect Central Hudson customers directly with assistance from company representatives.”
Ryan’s office shared in a statement that the act would end “abuse of current U.S. patent law and make less costly, generic alternatives easier to produce,” according to the Daily Freeman.
Ryan’s office revealed that “the average American spends $1,200 per year on prescription drug costs. While generic drugs constitute 80% of prescriptions filled for Americans, name-brand drugs account for 80% of prescription drug spending by Americans, the office said,” the Daily Freeman wrote in their publication.
Additionally, Paul Kirby of the Daily Freeman reported that Republican Sue Serino who will be taking on the role as the Dutchess County executive this upcoming January said that “complaints about high drug prices are a priority concern among seniors.”
The press release closed with additional contributions Ryan has made to local resources that will benefit people of all ages. “Ryan has also made big deliveries to make affordable healthcare more accessible across NY-18, including securing over $2 million for Sun River Health in Beacon and major federal funding for Cornerstone Family Healthcare. Ryan also co-sponsors the Drug Shortage Prevention Act.”