To President Trump and Members of Congress:
As people of faith, and organizations representing people of faith, we ask that you act immediately to ensure access to essential medicines for all in need:
- Like you, we come from a variety of faith and moral traditions. But we share a commitment to address needless suffering, especially the suffering endured by those who are sick.
- With the price of medicines climbing each year far above the rate of inflation, many Americans skip taking medicines their doctors have prescribed. Last year, 45 million Americans did not fill a prescription due to cost. As a result, our citizens are suffering strokes, heart attacks, and major complications from untreated heart disease and diabetes, among many other painful and deadly conditions.
- The current situation is immoral and unjustifiable. Nearly 2 billion people globally do not receive the medicines they need, including children who go without vaccines. Ten million of those people die each year because medicines are unaffordable to them.
- This state of affairs is an affront to the moral principles that underlie our faith traditions and the nation we share. We have many partners who fulfill our call to serve by providing front-line healthcare in the U.S. and throughout the world. Every day, those partners witness first-hand the suffering caused by barriers to essential medicines.
- We can support vigorous medicines research while also ensuring affordable access to those in need. History has shown that researchers and the communities who support them accomplish great feats without sacrificing affordability to monopoly-protected windfall profits. Government funds are already the driving force behind the research that leads to the medicines that have the most significant impact, including cancer medicines, vaccines, and mental health medicines.
- You are in position to remedy this crisis. The U.S. government is the world’s most impactful funder of critical medicines research, and a top purchaser of the medicines that research produces.
Therefore, we call on you to exercise your existing legal rights to ensure that all medicines, especially medicines discovered by taxpayer-funded research, be affordable and available to all in need. We also call on you to ensure that all U.S. trade agreements protect access to medicines for all, not expand and extend monopolies that make medicines unaffordable.