August 30, 2018 Press Releases

Introducing Patients For Affordable Drugs’ First Price Fighting Heroes: FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Patient Advocate Victoria Stuessel

WASHINGTON, DC and LA PUENTE, CA — Every day, patients, private sector leaders, policy makers, and elected officials fight for lower drug prices on behalf of Americans struggling to afford their medication. To help spotlight their stories, Patients For Affordable Drugs is launching a new series called Price Fighting Heroes to recognize their commitment, conviction, and achievements to lower prescription drug prices. Patients For Affordable Drugs’ first heroes are FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Patient Advocate Victoria Stuessel from California.

“The commitment Commissioner Gottlieb and Victoria Stuessel share in advocating for patients and lower drug prices is exactly why we will win this fight,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs. “For too long monopoly drug corporations have abused their power at the expense of patients and their families. Advocates like Commissioner Gottlieb and Victoria are the reason I believe that we’ll fix our broken system and lower drug prices for all Americans.”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, is a Price Fighting Hero this month for his commitment to advocating for patients and the concrete steps he has taken to end unfair and exploitative drug company tactics that prevent generics from coming to market. In the year that he has been in office, Commissioner Gottlieb has led the way to clear the backlog of generic drugs waiting to be approved, including ending the monopoly for Epipen, the life-saving treatment for severe allergic reactions. The FDA has also released a Biosimilar Action Plan to spur additional competition. Read more about Commissioner Gottlieb and his recognition as this month’s Hero.

Patient Advocate Victoria Stuessel is a 34-year-old mother who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2016. The prescription drugs she uses to control her debilitating disease and treat her symptoms cost as much as $7,000 a month — and that’s with health insurance. Victoria is a passionate advocate for lowering the price of prescription drugs, lending her voice in California to the fight to pass one of the most comprehensive drug pricing transparency laws in the country. She went toe-to-toe with Big Pharma, which spent a whopping $16.8 million dollars to prevent patients like Victoria from knowing why their prescription drug prices were increasing. Read more about Victoria and her recognition as this month’s Hero. 

Patients For Affordable Drugs plans to announce Price Fighting Heroes periodically to lift up their stories and recognize their work to lower drug prices. We’ll continue to honor patients, private sector leaders, policy makers, and elected officials who advocate for patients and fight for lower drug prices. In doing so, we hope to encourage others to keep fighting. We will feature our heroes in social media and with a blog post, lift up their stories in the media, and then honor them at a special event in 2019. Heroes will be selected by P4AD staff. If you have someone you want to nominate as a hero, please email



Patients For Affordable Drugs is the only independent national patient organization focused exclusively on achieving policy changes to lower the price of prescription drugs.