Washington, D.C. — An Accountable.US analysis of the newly-released Federal Election Commission (FEC) campaign filings reveals that the pharmaceutical industry funneled over $25,000 to Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) in the third-quarter as the Senator came out against key provisions in the Biden Build Back Better plan that would allow the federal government to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for millions of Medicare recipients. Sinema’s position — which mirrors ‘concerns’ of the big drug industry that opposes the Build Back Better Act — represents a reversal from Sinema’s previous time in Congress when she strongly supported efforts to lower the costs of prescription drugs, Accountable.US found. 

“Senator Sinema used to claim to care about lowering prescription drug prices — that is, until a recent campaign cash infusion from the big drug industry,” said Accountable.US President Kyle Herrig. “Seniors know that allowing Medicare to use its bulk purchasing power to negotiate with drug companies is the single most effective way to make needed medicine more affordable — which is why Big Pharma detests it. Senator Sinema has an opportunity right now during an ongoing pandemic to save seniors thousands on their drug bills, and it makes no sense to squander it to protect the bottom line of her billion-dollar industry donors.”

KEY FINDINGS FROM THE REPORT

  • April 2019: As a Senator, Sinema co-wrote a letter to Sec. Azar in which she praised the administration for their attempts to lower the costs of prescription drugs. 
  • September 2018: Sinema was given an award for her efforts to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors. 
  • May 2018: While running for Senate, Sinema specifically highlighted the importance of lowering the cost of prescription drugs in a campaign ad. 
  • March 2014: As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, then-Rep. Sinema signed a coalition letter in opposition to a rule, proposed by the Obama administration, that would have cut benefits for Medicare Part D recipients. 
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