I want to tell you a story

Posted on December 22, 2021.

Given how Big Pharma is likely behind the recent attack ads against me, I feel like I need to clear something up.

I want to tell you a story.

As a child in South Korea, my father contracted polio. He survived, thanks to then-cutting edge treatment developed by scientists worldwide. Inspired by the scientists whose work had saved his life and determined to pay their efforts forward, he worked hard, earning a chance to advance his studies here in America. Eventually, he became a Ph.D. scientist and pharmaceutical researcher himself.

He went on to raise a family. His career allowed him to pave the way for us to have a better life than he grew up with. We watched him put years into research and development, determined to use science to save lives. He and my mom, who worked as a nurse for many years here in South Jersey, taught us to use our careers to serve others.

So when I say I understand and appreciate the amazing innovations and noble work of many pharmaceutical researchers, please know that it comes from a place of utmost sincerity. That doesn't mean, however, that drug corporations should be immune from criticism or regulation – especially when it relates to price gouging and profiteering.

Essential medications aren't just one more commodity in the free market, subject to supply and demand like cars or sneakers or televisions. Yet we've created a system in which people are rationing their medicine because they can't afford a refill. Some families regularly have to choose between paying rent and buying critical medication.

That's unacceptable. And I'm determined to fight for a nation where every person has access to the treatment or medicine that might save their life.

If my father's journey taught me anything, it's that access to medication is at least as critical as its production. And, for that reason, I'll always fight for fair drug pricing, and to make sure that no family has to choose between life-saving medication and other basic essentials.