SALEM, Ore. — Oregon state lawmakers are weighing key measures this week that would protect residents from Big Pharma’s skyrocketing drug prices. One bill would require that drug makers give 60-day notice to the state before spiking drug prices, while a second reform would allow Oregon patients to purchase medication from Canada at fraction of the cost. A new, 5-figure campaign launched today to highlight stories of Oregon patients struggling under high drug prices and give Oregon residents tools to contact their state lawmakers in support of these drug pricing reforms.
Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, a bipartisan patient advocacy organization that takes no money from the pharmaceutical industry, is proud to endorse the proposed legislation alongside the Oregon Coalition For Affordable Prescriptions. Hundreds of Oregonians have contacted P4ADNow to report harm caused by the cost of their prescription drugs.
Oregon’s HB 2658 would require that drug manufacturers provide 60-day advance notice before raising prices beyond certain thresholds over a 12-month period. HB 2689 and SB 409 would create a state program to import and distribute wholesale prescription drugs from Canada. At significant savings to patients, the program would ensure safety on par with the U.S. drug supply chain system.
Both measures are being considered by key committees in the Oregon House and Senate this week.
“Oregonians are desperate for relief from crushing drug prices,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “While there is still work to be done to lower the list prices of drugs, these important bills could give Oregonians safe and less-expensive options and protection from being blindsided by price hikes.”
Americans pay anywhere from two to six times more than the rest of the world for brand-name prescription drugs. According to one report, the retail price of a vial of insulin in the U.S. is over $300. In Canada, the same vial costs $32.
Hundreds of Oregon patients have written to Patients For Affordable Drugs Now to report how their lives have been directly impacted by skyrocketing prescription drug prices. Here’s a look at three of those stories:
David Schmor, St. Helens, OR: “I have stage 4 prostate cancer along with a heart condition. I began with surgery that cost over $100,000, followed by radiation which was another $100,000, and ongoing hormone therapy that cost me $200 out of pocket every three months. Just one of my pills, Xtandi, costs $400 a day.”
Sarah Esterman, Portland, OR: “Out of pocket, the drug would cost me $460 a month—which I can’t reliably afford.”
Pat Rubino, St. Helens, OR: “I have seen the impact high prescription drug prices have on many Americans and feel strongly that something must be done immediately. No one should ever have to consider not taking their medicine because they cannot afford it!”