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Blumenthal: Increase Access to Discount Prescriptions

Rick Bowmer
A man with breathing problems uses an inhaler.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut wants the Trump administration to crack down on drug companies that have not held up their legal obligations to uninsured residents. Blumenthal says drug companies have been making money by participating in the Medicaid program, while illegally limiting access to drugs for the uninsured during the pandemic.

“One of the conditions for those profits is that they provide discounted drugs to federally qualified health care centers, to clinics and hospitals and others that serve the most vulnerable people,” Blumenthal said of the 430-B drug pricing program.

Blumenthal was speaking at a non-profit health center in Hartford, where low-income residents get access to affordable medication. He says drug companies are putting residents at risk.

"“They are required by the law, by basic human decency and fairness, to provide these discounted drugs to people suffering from asthma, diabetes, heart disease, which we know make them more vulnerable to death as a result of COVID-19.”

Blumenthal held up an example of a drug that costs around $11 dollars at a community non-profit pharmacy, compared to more than $200 if an uninsured person had to pay full price.