CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Democrat Dan McCready announced his plan to lower prescription drug prices Tuesday and confirmed healthcare issues will be his number one focus during the campaign. McCready is running for Congress in North Carolina’s 9th District against Republican State Senator Dan Bishop.
Besides focusing on his own plan McCready criticized Bishop for his track record of votes on healthcare in North Carolina’s General Assembly.
McCready unveiled his plan at the Mint Hill Pharmacy alongside owner Phillip Thornton.
“Insurance companies are now telling us where to go to the doctor, which hospital to go to, but they’re also saying what they’re going to do what they’re going to pay for,” Thornton said.
One of McCready’s top priorities is enforcing a law signed by President Donald Trump that would crack down on Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM) that create gag clauses prohibiting pharmacists from discussing lower cost alternative drugs with their clients.
“Now it’s time to enforce the law robustly and prevent PBMs from finding new ways to hike patient costs,” McCready said.
McCready pointed out a similar bill (H466 – 2017) that was voted on in North Carolina.
“The bill passed unanimously except for a single vote by State Senator Dan Bishop,” McCready said.
McCready also called out Bishop for his vote against a bill capping prices for cancer drugs.
“We already know from his votes what he’ll do in Washington. He’ll jump in bed all over again with Big Pharma at the expense of North Carolina families,” McCready said.
McCready questioned Bishop’s ties to pharmaceutical lobbyists and said the relationship between Big Pharma lobbyists and DC politicians needs to be broken.
McCready also listed stopping drastic price hikes, value-based purchasing and lowering Medicare Part B drug prices among his priorities.
Both Bishop and the National Republican Congressional Committee fired back at McCready’s statements.
Bishop responded to WBTV’s questions in an email.
"I support banning pharmacy gag orders. I voted for this exact legislation in SB 384 on April 26 after participating in hearings to help improve problems with the original bills that would have unfairly imposed costs and burdens on pharmacy benefit managers that would inevitably mean higher rates for consumers.
“This companion House version was added to the Senate calendar on June 28 at the last minute and, unlike Nancy Pelosi’s advice on Obamacare, I don’t vote for bills without an opportunity to read them,” Bishop wrote.
The NRCC worked to tie McCready to the pharmaceutical companies he had just criticized. Federal financial disclosure reports show McCready’s wife’s trust sold assets in pharmaceutical companies in September 2017.