WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Rick Scott announced the Transparent Drug Pricing Act, which promotes transparency in drug pricing and reduces the cost of prescription drugs for American consumers.

See his remarks as prepared for delivery below.

Thank you all for coming today. There are a number of issues I’m focused on in the U.S. Senate. We need to continue to rebuild our military. We need to continue funding important environmental projects in Florida. We need to continue to grow our economy and create jobs.

But one of the issues I’m focused on the most is reducing the cost of prescription drugs.

I hear it every day in Florida. Drug prices are too high. Patients are paying more and more every year for life-saving drugs and some are even choosing to go without those treatments because they can’t afford them.

This is very personal for me. I grew up in a family without healthcare. My mom struggled to find care for my brother who had a serious disease. Eventually she found a charity hospital four hours away for his treatment.

We need to make sure American families have quality healthcare at a price they can afford. As is now obvious to everyone, Obamacare made healthcare even more expensive. But, there is something we can do and must do – we must lower prescription drug costs for every American.

Today, I’m introducing the Transparent Drug Pricing Act to increase transparency and reduce drug costs. My bill has 3 components:

#1:  Every American should know what their prescriptions cost when they go to the checkout line.

  • My bill requires pharmacies to inform patients what it would cost to purchase drugs out-of-pocket instead of using their insurance and co-pay. If patients choose to pay out-of-pocket, the total cost would be applied to their deductible.
  • Consumers should not be penalized for shopping for the best price. Consumers should not be kept in the dark. Consumers deserve transparency and this bill will force that.

#2: Every American should be allowed the chance to shop around for the best deal.

  • Insurance companies MUST inform patients of the total costs of their prescription drugs 60 days prior to the beginning of the open enrollment period. This will allow patients to be consumers and shop around. 

  • I remember asking my mom how much lower drugs costs would have to be for her to consider changing healthcare plans. Her answer was “one dollar.” Patients want to shop for better coverage and lower costs, but too often they can’t or don’t know how.

#3: In our current system, drug companies charge Americans higher prices for the same drugs than they charge consumers in other countries.

  • For example, a recent study found that insulin costs, on average, $1,251 per patient per year in the United States. In the UK, that number is only $532. That’s unacceptable.

  • My bill simply requires that drug companies CANNOT charge American consumers more for prescription drugs than they charge consumers in other industrialized nations like Great Britain, Canada and Germany.
  • It’s unfair that consumers in other countries get a better deal than patients here in America. That has to change; drug prices must stop going up, and in fact, they should come down.

I know there will be critics that say this is too much government interference in the free market. I am a strong believer in free-market capitalism. I ran one of the largest healthcare companies in the world. But Americans, particularly our seniors, are facing a crisis of rising drug costs and we can’t wait any longer to act.

And here’s another thing, in my bill this provision would sunset after five years; which would give us enough time to see if it is working. I think government should do that with most pieces of legislation.

The Transparent Drug Pricing Act takes real steps to lower costs for patients and puts consumers back in charge of healthcare decisions.

Washington seems to have given up on reforming healthcare. I don’t accept that. We need to get something done this year to address the soaring costs of prescription drugs and I’m fighting every day to make sure we do.