SALEM, OR — Oregon Patient Advocates will meet with state lawmakers today to demand action to address the high price of prescription drugs. Nearly one in three Americans report not taking their drugs as prescribed due to cost. A bipartisan bill in Oregon that would have helped patients was blocked at the 11th hour from receiving a committee hearing. The bill,HB 4147, would have established a program to allow the state to import safe, affordable drugs from across the border in Canada.
Patients from across the state travelled to Salem to urge elected officials to stand up to Big Pharma and support the bill. Patients plan to ask their legislators to fight for lower drug prices, especially after this bill was pulled from consideration with less than a month left in the state’s legislative session.
Kara Campuzano of Salem, whose son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 5 years old, is all too familiar with high drug prices. “One day, I received a phone call saying my son left his Humalog insulin at school. It was almost 5 PM and the school was closed,” she said. “I immediately panicked. Brody needs his insulin, and so I called our local pharmacy to try to get the dose we needed to get through the evening. I was shocked to find out that it would cost more than $300 for me to go to pick up.”
Oregon’s HB 4147 would have created a state program to import wholesale prescription drugs from Canada. At significant savings to patients, the proposed program would ensure safety on par with the U.S. drug supply chain system. According to polling, 70% of likely voters in Oregon support importation of prescriptions from Canada.
States like Vermont, Colorado, Florida, and Maine have recognized the cost savings of importation from Canada and passed laws that empower them to import and distribute prescription drugs.
Read more about the Patient Advocates visiting lawmakers today:
Ann Neilson, Madras: I have been prescribed Restasis for chronic dry eye syndrome for some time now, but I haven’t taken it as prescribed due to the horrendous cost — $2,700 per year out of pocket. I have ordered Restasis from Canada in the past because it was much less than it was in the US. 
Terry Sissel, Lincoln City: Spending over $3,000 a year on prescription medications was a huge financial burden and that burden remains heavy in my mind. I had to cut the number of trips I took to visit my daughter and her family, and I have no wiggle room in my budget.
Pat Rubino, St. Helens: I was fortunate to get approved for a grant for a heart operation, but there was a catch. It did not cover the prescription drugs I needed after my surgery. The sticker shock was unreal. I considered taking a lien on my home.
Patients For Affordable Drugs Now is a bipartisan patient advocacy organization that works to elevate the stories of those suffering from the high cost of prescription drugs. P4ADNow does not accept money from anyone that benefits from the manufacture or distribution of prescription drugs.
Over 500 Oregonians have shared their stories with P4ADNow about the sacrifices they make in order to afford their prescription drugs. They skip doses, choose between buying their medications and their groceries, and sometimes even go without.