June 8, 2022

Dear Leaders Schumer and McConnell:

We write in opposition to the 95 percent tax on prescription medicines contained in H.R. 5376, the “Build Back Better Act.” The Senate should reject this harmful tax increase on the middle class, most notably seniors.

Section 139002 of the bill imposes a new excise tax of up to 95 percent on the gross sales of prescription medicines. The only way this tax can be avoided is if drug manufacturers submit to government-imposed price controls.

In a time of inflation levels not seen in many decades, the last thing Americans need to worry about is a new 95 percent tax on the prescription medicines they need to live healthy and fulfilling lives. A tax of this amount would nearly double the price of any prescription drug subject to it. It goes without saying that this tax would be faced by millions of Americans making far less than $400,000 per year–the very people President Biden promised not to raise taxes on.

A price control to avoid the tax isn’t a better option. Price controls have never worked throughout recorded human history. Without exception, they lead to scarcity and eventually government rationing. The end point of a price control is the government deciding who does and does not qualify for the scarce product or service. We believe that all Americans should have access to the prescription medicines they need free of government interference.

A 95 percent tax on prescription medicines under threat of price control is unnecessary. Since well before the Covid pandemic, net price growth for drugs have come in well under the general inflation rate. In fact, prescription drug prices increased around 1% in 2021, much lower than the 7% inflation rate Americans experienced during that same time period. A 95 percent drug tax and price control threat is a solution in search of a problem.

The United States is the world’s leading developer of life-saving medicines, a fact highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both the 95 percent tax and price controls will dry up funding for future research and development of new drugs. The next generation of innovative drugs should not be endangered by reckless government decisions today.

The 95 percent prescription drug tax is not serious healthcare or tax policy, and should be dropped.


Charles Sauer
Market Institute

Brent Wm. Gardner
Americans for Prosperity

Ryan Ellis
Center for Free Economy

Tom Schatz
Council for Citizens Against Government Waste

Lisa B. Nelson
ALEC Action

Adam Brandon

Hadley Heath Manning
Independent Women’s Voice

Pete Sepp
National Taxpayers Union

Grover Norquist
Americans For Tax Reform

Phil Kerpen
American Commitment

Naomi Lopez

John Goodman
Goodman Institute

Bob Carlstrom
AMAC Action

Norm Singleton
US Policy

Andrew Langer
Institute for Liberty

Jim Martin
60 Plus Association

Saul Anuzis
American Association of Senior Citizens

Ashley Baker
The Committee for Justice

David Williams
Taxpayers Protection Alliance

Richard Ralston
Americans for Free Choice in Medicine

Twila Brase
Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom

AnneMarie Schieber
Health Care News/Heartland Institute

Seton Motley
Less Government

Dave Wallace
Fair Energy Foundation

Jane Orient

James Edwards
Conservatives for Property Rights

Larry Ward
Constitutional Rights PAC

Joshua Delano
Southeast Texans for Liberty

Richard Manning
Americans for Limited Government

Terry Neese
National Grassroots Network

Lovelynn Gwinn
R.I.N.O Project

Autry Pruitt
New Journey PAC

Melissa Ortiz
Able Americans

Lisa Cathie
MAGA Black

George Landrith
Frontiers of Freedom

Paul Gessing
Rio Grande Foundation

Christopher Sheeron
Action for Health

Susan Carleson
Carleson Center for Welfare Reform

Jeff Mazzella
Center for Individual Freedom

Katie McAuliffe
Digital Liberty

Bethany Marcum
Alaska Policy Forum

Kevin Kearns
US Business and Industry Council

John R. Toedtman
Caesar Rodney Institute

Richard Walker
Benjamin Rush Institute

Jonathan Imbody
Faith Steps

John Hinderaker
American Experiment

Andrew F. Quinlan
Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Rob Kenyon
Virginia Republican Liberty Caucus

Mary Adams
Maine Center Right Coalition

Ed Martin
Eagle Forum Education and LegalDefense Fund

Mario H. Lopez
Hispanic Leadership Fund

Annette Thompson Meeks
Freedom Foundation of Minnesota

Lauren Daugherty
Young Americans for Liberty

Sal Nuzzo
James Madison Institute

Ralph Benko
The Capitalist League

Julio Rivera
Reactionary Times

Tom Giovanetti
Institute for Policy Innovation

Kent Kaiser
Trade Alliance to Promote Prosperity

Dee Stewart
Americans for a Balanced Budget

Ginevra Joyce-Myers
Center for Innovation and Free Enterprise

Tom Hebert
Open Competition Center

David Levien, MD, MBA, FACS
American College of Healthcare Trustees

Casey Given
Young Voices

Carla Howell
Center for Small Government

Karen Kerrigan
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Yaël Ossowski
Consumer Choice Center

Jenny Beth Martin
Tea Party Patriots Action

James Davis
Fans for Fair Pay

Jim Babka
Downsize DC

Jason Vaughn
Houston Young Republicans

Robert L. Maness

Morton Blackwell
Conservative Leadership PAC

C. Preston Noell III
Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

Terry Wilcox
Patients Rising Now

Paul Morinville
RINO Reckoning

Donna Jackson
Project 21

Palmer Schoening
Family Business Coalition

Jeff Cargerman
Inventors Project

Peter Thomas
Conservative Caucus

Dick Patten
American Business Defense Council