On Fox Business, Portman Pushes GM to Bring New Production to Lordstown & Highlights Reduced Price for Overdose Reversal Drug

December 13, 2018 | Portman Difference

During an interview with Fox Business’ Varney & Company this morning, Senator Portman discussed his frustration and disappointment over General Motors’ decision to close down the plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and urged the company to bring production of one of its upcoming electric vehicles to the plant. He released a statement earlier this month on the company’s decision and met with GM CEO Mary Barra to press her to keep the plant open. 

Portman also discussed his report from the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, which he chairs, into drug manufacturing company kaléo, how it increased the price of its life-saving overdose reversal drug by more than 600 percent, and then its decision to reverse course and reduce the price to $178, down from $4,100 per unit.  

Excerpts of his interview can be found below and a video can be found here: 

PORTMAN ON CHANCES OF GM REVERSING THEIR DECISION TO CLOSE LORDSTOWN PLANT: 

“Well I hope it’s good because that plant has been terrific for GM. As you may know, Stuart, JD Power 2018—this year—said it was GM’s best plant in terms of quality, with the least defects, so the plant has produced well for General Motors.  It’s a huge asset and I can’t believe they would just walk away.  So we think workforce deserves to have a chance to build a new product. I understand that the Chevy Cruze isn’t selling well, that’s a market condition. We get that but we also understand the fact that this community and these workers have done their part for GM and we want to have the opportunity to show it again. So my hope is, as GM is talking about building 20 new electric vehicles, that’s 20 new models, in the next five years alone, that they give us a chance to build one or more of those models in Youngstown. So we’re continuing conversations with them and I hope they’ll be successful. 

“The other part of this, you and I both strongly support tax reform because our tax system was broken and part of it was to increase investment in America, by the way General Motors did very well with that. In other words, they have a lower rate, they have the ability to immediately expense their investment in the plant, and so the tax bill encourages them to do the right thing and so does the regulatory reforms we’ve put in place. So all we’ve done in terms of policy here in Washington should encourage them to do right thing by Ohio. They’ve always made cars in Ohio and this would be first time they weren’t assembling a car in Ohio.” 

PORTMAN ON HIS PSI REPORT RESULTING IN DRUG MANUFACTURER KALEO LOWERING THE PRICE OF ITS NALOXONE DRUG: 

“It is the miracle drug that reverses the effects of overdoses and sadly in my state and so many states, the number one public health crisis is these overdoses so people need this [Evzio], which is a name of naloxone. The first responders need it, the hospitals need it, and yet unbelievably in the last two and a half years this drug has increased by about 600 percent. The cost of this drug—why? Because they could do it because they worked out a deal with Medicare and doctors to have this deemed a medically necessary drug, and so they just raised the price dramatically. It cost the taxpayers, it absolutely cost a lot of people who are trying to use this miracle drug to reduce the effects of the overdose. And so we took them on and issued a report—and sure enough this week they reduced the cost. I’m pleased they did it.” 

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