Editor: 

As vaccine rollouts remain patchy throughout the United States, we who live in Scott County, Iowa, and Rock Island County, Illinois, have seen an increase in vaccinations. 

There is no doubt that many more still need to be vaccinated, but we must make sure that these drugs remain affordable and accessible in the future. 

H.R. 597 would require that such drugs be offered at a fair and reasonable price. The Department of Health and Human Services would determine if the price of any drug during this health emergency is excessive. They would void any FDA-granted exclusivity license for that drug and would open it up to other manufacturers. 

Surely, the deaths of over 562,000 Americans qualify as a national emergency. I’m calling on Representative Cheri Bustos and Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks to back this bill to help all citizens in the Quad Cities. We envision a future when this virus and its variants will no longer constitute a national crisis. HR 597 can help pave the way to equal access to life-saving drugs and the end to COVID-19.

Debra Sperry

Long Grove