One month ago, Senator Scott Jensen (R-Chaska) was appointed to the Attorney General’s Task Force on Lowering Pharmaceutical Drug Prices. He was chosen from over 100 candidates and is now one of 15 members on the panel. Recently, he was elected co-chair of the Task Force alongside Nicole Smith-Holt and is enthusiastic about the chance to make a difference.
When Senator Jensen was asked about this new two year leadership commitment, he commented, “The legislature is simply not moving quickly enough to control medication costs for patients, and the best way for me to help is to work hard and fast constructing innovative bills and aggressively championing patient concerns. As a family doctor, I see firsthand the impact that ridiculously priced drugs have on my patients in their everyday lives. This rampant gouging by pharmaceutical companies is disgusting, and I am thrilled to roll up my sleeves alongside a diverse group of people to see if we can get something done – soon.”
The Task Force has several questions to address:
- How can we make sure that diabetics get their insulin?
- Is it acceptable that 60 second TV advertisements promoting incredibly expensive medications do not adequately educate consumers about potentially deadly side effects?
- Why do U.S. citizens pay up to 10 times more for medications than people in neighboring countries?
- How do we stop pharma companies from buying the rights to a generic drug and then within a few short months raising the cost by a thousand percent?
- Can importing prescription drugs from outside our borders help create a competitive environment to help all Minnesotans?
- What are we doing to help independent pharmacies survive?
Senator Jensen added, “This isn’t some kind of theoretical problem that can be mulled over for a few years before we act – this is a ‘here and now’ crisis for kids, parents, families, and seniors, and I want to help.”