Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Dec 9th, 2009 :: 2:24:45 to 2:31:35
Total video length: 7 hours 36 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Amy Klobuchar

2:24:41 to 2:25:02( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: he said -- "every expert i've talked to says that these bills as they stand are -- the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mr. cornyn: so, would hope that my colleagues recommit this so the president can keep his commitment not raise

Amy Klobuchar

2:24:45 to 2:31:35( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar

2:25:03 to 2:25:23( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: people. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator recognized. ms. klobuchar: thank you, mr. president. i would like to speak in support of the amendment which would provide some much-need relief to americans who are being brushed by ever higher prescription drug costs.

Amy Klobuchar

2:25:24 to 2:25:45( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: i would first like to note i am eagerly awaiting the details of some of the proposals that were cut out there last night. i appreciate the work of my colleagues, but i do want to hear the response from congressional budget office, and as i have said on this floor many times, i am concerned about expanding medicare unless we do

Amy Klobuchar

2:25:46 to 2:26:06( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: something about the geographic disparities that are already present in our system. you look at some of the numbers. the average patient got $6,600 in minnesota in 2006,nd you look at the numbers in texas which i something like $9 300.

Amy Klobuchar

2:26:07 to 2:26:28( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: what we want to try to do here with this bill and what i like about this bill is all of the cost reform measures that are going to push us toward rewarding states that are participating in systems that provide more efficient care, and if we don't do something about these geographic disparities, we

Amy Klobuchar

2:26:29 to 2:26:49( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: are going to further exacerbate this by expanding medicare. i have some concerns about this and i look forward to hearing from my colleagues as well as the solvency of the medicare program which is scheduled to go in the red by 2017 under existing circumstances. back to this amendment, the dorgan-snowe amendment, this amendment not only would allow american pharmacies and drug

Amy Klobuchar

2:26:50 to 2:27:11( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: wholesalers to import f.d.a.-approved medications from canada and several other countries and pass the savings on to consumers, it would also import some much-need competition into the american pharmaceutic market. it's estimated that the amendment which enjoys both democratic and republican sponsors would result in federal

Amy Klobuchar

2:27:12 to 2:27:34( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: savings of $19.4 billion over ten years, just at a time when we are looking for these kinds of savings. millions of americans depend on prescription drugs to help them manage chronic disease or other illnesses, but drug prices continue to skyrocket. with annual increases well above the general inflation rate. from 1997-2007, retail drug

Amy Klobuchar

2:27:35 to 2:27:55( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: prices increased an average of 6.9% per year, more than two and a half times the generate of inflation, which was 2.6% per year over the same period. you look at that difference. 6.9% per year compared to 2.6% per year. as a result of these rising prices, many patients are forced

Amy Klobuchar

2:27:56 to 2:28:17( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: to split pills, skip doses or not fill their prescriptions at all. yet right across the northern border of minnesota and canada, many of these same brand name prescription drugs are available at a much lower cost. for example, according to one recent comparison, a 90-day supply of lipitor costs $256 in the united states.

Amy Klobuchar

2:28:18 to 2:28:38( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: in canada, it's available for for $188. in other words, canadians pay 26% less than americans for the very same drug. here's another example. a 90-day supply of nitroderm patches costs $303 in the u.s. but $125 in canada. the canadian price is 59% cheaper.

Amy Klobuchar

2:28:39 to 2:29:01( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: you can go right down the line of major brand name drugs and see these dramatic price disparities. in fact, every year canada's permanent pricing board compares canadian prices for patented drug products with prices in a number of other consistently, prices in the u.s. are higher by double-digit percentages. in 2008, u.s. prices were on the

Amy Klobuchar

2:29:02 to 2:29:22( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: average 63% higher tha canadian prices. now, current federal law says that nobody except the manufacturer can import a drug into the united wholesale and retail pharmacies aren't allow to. state and local governments aren't allowed to. individual americans aren't allowed to, even for personal use. but of course they do and they have been doing it for a number of years. now, my state, as i noted,

Amy Klobuchar

2:29:23 to 2:29:43( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: happens to be on the border of canada. every to minnesota to work and make purchases and fish and do all kinds of things. likewise, minnesotans cross over to canada every day to work and make purchases and fish. it's no big deal. wee not afraid of canadians. and minnesotans know that canadians pay less, much less

Amy Klobuchar

2:29:44 to 2:30:04( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: for many of their prescriion drugs. beginning in the 1990's, the minnesota senior federation started organizing bus trips for seniors to go up and cross the border into canada so they could get affordable prices for the drugs that they depended on. the senior federation also introduced a prescription drug importation program using its buying per to negotiate

Amy Klobuchar

2:30:05 to 2:30:25( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: directly with canadian mail order pharmacies to provider lower cost prescription drugs to minnesota's seniors. but drug prices in the u.s. just continue to go higher and higher and higher so the pressure to find some relief kept growing. finally, some state governments decided to take their own initiative to help their residents purchase lower cost drugs from canada.

Amy Klobuchar

2:30:26 to 2:30:46( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: minnesota was one of the very first. there was broad bipartisan support for this with the republican governor and democrats and republicans in the legislature. in february, 2004, the state of minnesota established r.x. connect, the first state-run website to provide citizens with information on how to safely purchase drugs from canada.

Amy Klobuchar

2:30:47 to 2:31:07( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: the website lists the prices for hundreds of brand name and generic medications as well as phone mail and email contact information. the american pharmaceutical industry, mr. president, likes to use scare tactics to keep people from buying their medications in canada. well, look at what's happening. you don't see a lot of problems in canada with their drugs.

Amy Klobuchar

2:31:08 to 2:31:29( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: the dorgan-snowe amendment takes on renewed iortance and urgency because the american pharmaceutical industry has been imposing some very suspicious price increases this year. last month "the new york times" reported that drug makers have been busy raising prices for the most common prescribed medicines in anticipation of possible health care reform. the newspaper quoted industry analysts as saying that in 12

Amy Klobuchar

2:31:30 to 2:31:35( Edit History Discussion )

Amy Klobuchar: months ending in september 30, drug makers have raised the wholesale prices of brand-name

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