SAINT PAUL, MN — A Minnesotan suffering from the high cost of prescription drugs will call on state lawmakers today to pass a bipartisan bill that would establish a commission designed to protect patients and taxpayers from skyrocketing drug prices.
Catherine Iliff, a former nurse, has an autoimmune liver condition and arthritis, and requires several drugs to stay healthy. Iliff lives on a fixed income and struggles to afford her prescription for the medication, Lyrica, which costs $300 a month. As a result, she stretches the dose to make it last longer, living with unnecessary pain.
“Instead of taking the prescription as my doctor intended, I have to skip doses and live with my symptoms,” Iliff plans to testify before a House committee. “These prices are unsustainable — and it is cruel that pharmaceutical corporations can get away with pricing drugs out of reach for Minnesotans like me.”
To help patients like her, Iliff will ask lawmakers to support HF 3228, the Prescription Drug Affordability Act. The bill would:
- Establish a Prescription Drug Affordability Commission and Advisory Council.
- The commission is designed to protect consumers and the state from excessive drug costs that create affordability challenges.
- Manufacturers must report certain high-priced drugs and excessive annual price increases to the Commission.
- The Commission will review reporting, and if they determine that a drug creates an affordability challenge, they can establish a maximum payment for the drug.
- Issue an annual report to the governor and legislature on drug pricing trends.
Iliff will testify today at 2:30 PM CST before the House Commerce Committee.