Congresswoman Luria Fights for Lower COVID-19 Related Drug Prices

August 5, 2020
Press Release

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – Today, Congresswoman Luria announced her support of Make Medications Affordable by Preventing Pandemic Price Gouging (MMAPPP) Act (H.R. 7296), a bipartisan bill that would protect Coastal Virginians from price gouging for drugs intended to treat COVID-19.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has already highlighted unacceptable inequality in our health care system. The MMAPPP Act is a necessary step to ensure that all Americans can benefit from the breakthrough treatments that countless doctors and scientists are working to produce,” said Congresswoman Luria. “During this public health emergency, no one should be unable to receive lifesaving medication and treatment due to financial restraints. I am proud that my colleagues to come together across the aisle to take action on this issue.”

Specifically, the bill would:

  • Prohibit pharmaceutical monopolies on new, taxpayer-funded COVID-19 drugs to ensure universal access for these medications;
  • Require the federal government to mandate reasonable and affordable pricing of any taxpayer-funded drug to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or treat COVID-19;
  • Promote transparency by requiring manufacturers to publicly disclose a breakdown of expenditures on COVID-19 drugs, including what percentage of those expenditures were from federal funds; and
  • Waive exclusive licenses to prevent excessive pricing of drugs used to treat diseases that cause public health emergencies.

Last year, Congresswoman Luria voted for H.R. 3, the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019, an overdue bill that would ease the financial burdens of many hardworking families while funding groundbreaking research. H.R. 3 would give Medicare the power to negotiate directly with drug companies to lower drug prices for Coastal Virginians covered by private insurance and Medicare. Congresswoman Luria’s amendment to strengthen this provision was incorporated into the House-passed bill. The amendment would ensure that federal employees benefit from the lower drug prices that Medicare negotiates. This would help 30,000 federal workers in Virginia’s Second Congressional District benefit from the newly lowered drug prices.  

Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.