FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2021
Contact: Trisha Harms, 612-210-0819
TakeAction Minnesota Billboard Calls on Legislators to Pass a Prescription Drug Affordability Board
(ST. PAUL, MN)–Today, TakeAction Minnesota unveiled a billboard near the State Capitol, visible to commuters heading north on 35E heading north, to urge state lawmakers to pass a Prescription Drug Affordability Board this session.
The Board was identified as a top solution to lower prescription drug costs made a bipartisan task force led by Attorney General Keith Ellison and co-chaired by Nicole Smith-Holt whose son, Alec Smith, passed away in 2018 because of the high cost of insulin. The Minnesota House passed the Prescription Drug Affordability Board in April. It will be considered in negotiations with the Senate.
“Minnesota families should not have to choose between paying for food and housing or paying for medicine they need to stay alive,” said TakeAction leader Carol White. “State Senators must listen to their constituents. Price-gouging of prescription drugs hurts all of us. Families are hurting.”
From insulin to cancer treatment, high drug costs affect patients and force insurers to raise premiums. One out of five Minnesotans has forgone prescription medicine in the last year due to cost. Prescription Drug Affordability Boards can set upper payment limits on certain high cost drugs to help patients, payers, purchasers, and providers address this growing crisis.
Six states have enacted Prescription Drug Affordability Boards and 11 are exploring legislation. A 2020 survey revealed nearly half of Minnesotans worry about being able to pay for prescription drugs and 87% of respondents support a Prescription Drug Affordability Board.
“People literally can’t afford their life if they can’t afford their medicine,” Attorney General Keith Ellison tweeted in April. “I encourage the Minnesota Senate to follow the Minnesota House’s leadership and pass this commonsense recommendation from our prescription drug task force. Minnesotans are counting on us.”
TakeAction Minnesota is a statewide, multiracial grassroots organization advancing justice and equity through organizing, policy, and campaigns. Offices are located in St. Paul, Duluth, and St. Cloud.