Oregon Democrat Says Drug Prices Are ‘Getting Out of Control’ As a state legislator, she tried to keep it that way.

Congress hopeful Val Hoyle took thousands from Eli Lilly, then worked to protect their insulin patent

Val Hoyle (via Twitter)

Collin Anderson • September 22, 2022 11:20 AM

As a state legislator, Oregon Democrat Val Hoyle received many donations from drug companies during her eight years in office. But the money she got from Eli Lilly between 2011 and 2014, totaling $17,500, was… three times more than any other donation she has received from a pharmaceutical company.

It stands out because in 2014, when those donations started pouring in, Hoyle had a stock, dubbed the “Eli Lilly Amendment,” to an unrelated health law, intended to protect the pharmaceutical giant’s insulin patent from generic competitors. It became so controversial — Democrats and Republicans alike said the “toxic” amendment could “kill” the bill — that it was eventually removed.

Now, as a candidate for Oregon’s fourth House district, Hoyle says she’s running to Congress to settle “out of control prescription costs,” and her opponent, Republican Alek Skarlatos, plans to block Hoyle’s intervention on behalf of the drugmaker. to mention.

“Big pharma and these health insurers know that Val Hoyle is in their corner,” Skarlatos campaign manager Ross Purgason told the Washington Free Beacon. “Alek will work on solutions to reduce healthcare costs.”

Hoyle worked at the Oregon House from 2009 to 2017 and then served as Oregon’s Labor Commissioner. Skarlatos is a former Army National Guard soldier who rose to fame in 2015 after helping to stop a gunman who opened fire on a train from Amsterdam to Paris. The gunman later confessed to “wanting to kill Americans,” and Skarlatos was awarded the US Army Soldier’s Medal from former President Barack Obama.

They face each other in a bid to replace 36-year-old incumbent Peter DeFazio (D., Ore.) who announced his impending retirement in December 2021. DeFazio narrowly defeated Skarlatos in 2020, receiving 51 percent of the vote against Skarlatos’ 46 percent. The Republican has raised $2.6 million to Hoyle’s $1.2 million.

Hoyle’s 2014 amendment limited a pharmacist’s ability to dispense generic insulin and would[ed] our customers will cost more,” the Oregon State Pharmacy Association said in 2014.

Then Oregon House of Representatives majority leader Hoyle introduced the amendment after accepting $12,500 in campaign money from Eli Lilly, campaign finance data shows. The company explicitly insisted on the provision and gave Hoyle an additional $7,500 the next three yearsthough the Democrat’s amendment was quietly removed from the bill after critical press coverage.

Now Hoyle is singing a different tune. Hair campaign site laments “skyrocketing deductibles and out-of-control prescription costs” and says she “will ensure every American has access to affordable, quality care when they need it.” And in 2018, Hoyle said she is “unafraid to take on powerful special interests to protect hard-working Oregon families.”

The Hoyle campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

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