(Washington, D.C.) - Today. U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) voted to move forward with debate on the Medicare Fair Prescription Drug Price Act of 2007 which would allow the federal government to negotiate drug prices with manufacturers and provide more transparency on the discounts they receive through Medicare Part D. Unfortunately, Republicans blocked a motion to move forward and consider the bill. The final vote, 55-42, fell 5 votes short of the 60 needed to move ahead.

Senator Murray released the following statement after the vote:

"Seniors across Washington state have shared their concerns with me over the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program. They have continuously asked me to explore ways that they can better access and afford the drugs that they depend on. Unfortunately, today Senate Republicans denied our ability to even debate ways to change the program.

"In 2003, I voted against the Medicare Part D program because I recognized it was a flawed plan that would not fully serve our seniors. Since that time I have been traveling across Washington state gathering information from residents on ways to improve Medicare Part D and to lower drug prices for the over 800,000 Medicare recipients in our state.

"Unfortunately, as today's actions show, Senate Republicans are more interested in protecting the drug industry then in finding ways to benefit more of our seniors."