Skip to Main Content

WASHINGTON — If House Speaker Paul Ryan comes down with the flu this winter, he and his security detail won’t be screeching off toward the closest CVS for his Tamiflu.

Instead, he can just walk downstairs and pick up the pills, part of a little-known perk open to every member of Congress, from Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell down to the newest freshman Democrat.


Nearly every day for at least two decades pharmaceutical drugs have been brought by the carload to the Capitol — an arrangement so under the radar that even pharmacy lobbyists who regularly pitch Congress on their industry aren’t aware of it.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!

  • I know- as a Nursing student that: persons who are abusing alcohol (much less drugs)- leaves’ this person with the INABILITY to “follow through” on: ANY type of intentions, OR projects, their life being a series of unbroken promises, and useless endeavors. ASLO- they become demented, not able to hold their temper, and assess ANY information correctly (Judgement completely GONE)- and turn into “couch-potatoes”, which mweans, thatr they literally cannot gt OFF the couch, from brain damage, and aching legs, which is called Neuropathy, so that people MUST do all things for hem- feed, dress, and clean them up> the true meaning of THAT description! I wrote Dean Heller, saying that Congress and the House acted this way, BUT he assured me, that “No one is an alcoholic in the Gov’t.!!!???” BECAUSE…I was suggesting that: a drug / alcohol test be done ‘regularly’- like BEFORE any votes are recorded on bills and legislation, and meetings. CAN we DO this? PLEASE? It could sure clean up the ‘swamp” quicker, just like Hollywood has to do lately.

    • This is click bait and many clicked to complain about a Congressman they don’t like. Taking a prescription drug is not a crime nor does it indicate you are somehow crazy or unbalanced. Many people take drugs for high blood pressure, cholesterol, viagra, antibiotics, heart disease, kidney disease, headaches, etc. I really don’t understand this article or the reaction to it except as a way to bitch about Congress. Congress doesn’t work mainly because it is controlled by monied interests. It doesn’t get anything done because the country is divided and polarized. They can’t agree on what to do. This inaction is a result of Congress working like the constitution says it should. When we agree on something, we pass a law. If we don’t agree we argue until there is a consensus. Then Congress passes a law. A little compromise is needed but some people don’t want to compromise/ They are why Congress doesn’t work. Not because they take prescription drugs. Sensationalist click bait. Which is another reason things are not working well in our country.

    • I truly am glad some1 else brought up these ideas as we as CPP are subjected 2 UA drug tests, blood drug tests, random pill counts, pain contracts Doctors that r rude & lack compassion all to obtain p relief. The govt is making these decisions whn a majority of r(not all) officials r using the very same meds as pain pts r using & l had my thghts that they were still getting thr meds this 4 me confirms this. My guess that ther is a mass of give employees that drink etoh daily on thr extended breaks. I hav never been more convinced.

  • They pay an additional $600 per year on top of insurance to use the service. That’s 15 co-pays on my insurance.
    The headline and article is misleading to generate more page views. I’m a journalist. If I want my prescription delivered all I have to do is ask the pharmacy in WVirginia to do so.

    • They pay an additional $600 per year on top of insurance to use the service. That’s 15 co-pays on my insurance.
      The headline and article is misleading to generate more page views. I’m a journalist. If I want my prescription delivered all I have to do is ask the pharmacy in WVirginia to do so.

  • I am astonished that at least one of our law makers in congress is taking medication for Alzheimer’s. Good grief! That person should be sent home. The American people deserve sane politicians making decisions, not the mentally ill. That just goes to show how very sick D.C. actually is. When a person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease does not have the love and respect for the people he or she represents enough to resign in the best interest of our nation is outrageous! Forget the HIPPA privacy laws, we have a right to know who that person is. And, we have a right to demand they be replaced PDQ!!

    • I agree that this is an outrageous practice. Ellie, I have often wondered how congressmen obtain their “medications”. All congress men & WOMEN should be made to be examined by a doctor appointed by the ______________ deartment. and their consumptions of drugs be examined by _________________ and the results given to the responsible dept for recommendations that removal from congress is mandatory. I can name at least 6 I suspect of Altimers or other serious medical conditions.

  • The pharmacist doesn’t prescribe the meds, he fills prescriptions.

    Every pharmacy fills prescriptions for the same type of medications that lawmakers need. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are human, too even if they don’t act the part 24/7.

    Kim is a pharmacist-businessman, doing his job like the rest of us.

    • I absolutely do not blame the pharmacist or pharmacy, It’s the whole “you as the ppl in US are subjects to all laws where we as congress have special priveleges”. Do they deserve thr meds, absolutely but we do also. It’s not happening though they r getting what they need, americans are not!

  • This…health care should not be a perk for Congress. They make 10 times my salary and I’m paying about $450/ month just for health care policies. All their expenses are covered by taxpayers. I so definitely want to see the swamp drained! Please don’t vote for anyone in Congress who has been there more than 18 years! They have proven that they don’t really care about the people.

    • They pay an additional $600 per year to use this service. The meds are not free. The clinic is much like a student services clinic on a university campus. They are required by law to purchase insurance on the Exchange. A person who is 57 yo pays about $700 per month to cover two people on a silver plan. They also have the option of spousal coverage. The headline to this article is purposefully misleading to get more page views and shares.

  • I’ve suspected this for some time. Thank you for the validation. Having experience as a caregiver to those with Alzheimer’s, I knew some members of Congress were likely suffering with it. In my opinion, there are a few in Stage 3 and two in Stage 4 in Congress; one in Stage 3 in the Executive Branch.

    Voters should take age into consideration before casting their ballot. I know this raises questions about age discrimination, but it is better to be safe than sorry, or consider full medical disclosure of all members to the people. With 325 million lives depending on them, I don’t think that’s too much ask.

  • Maybe the politicians should have the type of insurance that some of my patients have. They are forced to go to mail order or Costco / Walgreens/CVS, where they face a long wait and no customer service. We are a small pharmacy that takes care of our patients health, we educate our patients on their disease states and actually tell them how their medications work. Our reimbursements are so ridiculous, many of our prescriptions are filled under our purchase price.

Comments are closed.