WASHINGTON, DC — Ben Wakana, the executive director of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, issued the following statement in response to the Trump administration’s four drug pricing executive orders. The organization previously ran a nearly $1 million campaign in support of one of those orders, HHS’s proposed International Pricing Index.
“The administration’s decision to bring drug prices in Medicare Part B more in line with what other wealthy nations pay would be a positive step if implemented. Abandoning the rule at this stage would be a capitulation to drug corporations.
“Big Pharma has had decades to self-regulate and lower list prices. Not only has it failed to do so, drug corporations continue to raise drug prices –– even in the middle of a pandemic.
“While the Trump administration’s original plan to use international reference pricing was limited — as it would only impact Medicare beneficiaries in half the country, who take certain medications, for a limited amount of time — it would help alleviate the pain of skyrocketing drug prices, and we strongly encourage the rule to be finalized.
“The goal of ridding our system of secret deals between drug companies and pharmacy benefit managers is laudable. We look forward to seeing more details of how this plan will work. In addition, we support the administration’s plans to allow importation from Canada and lower the cost of insulin and EpiPens for patients who rely on Federally Qualified Health Centers.
“We are hopeful the administration moves ahead with these executive orders and look forward to additional details.”
- Americans pay the highest drug prices in the world.
- The New York Times: “A government study that said Medicare was paying 80 percent more than other advanced industrial countries for some of the most costly physician-administered medicines.”
- Ways & Means Committee Analysis: “Americans pay on average nearly four times more for drugs than other countries – in some cases, 67 times more for the same drug.”
- Axios: Americans will be forced to pay 80 percent more for Humira than patients in Europe through 2023.
- Drug prices keep rising.
- Americans support an International Pricing Index
- By a 71-point margin, voters supported the Department of Health and Human Services’ ANPRM to lower drug prices in Medicare Part B by implementing an International Pricing Index (80 percent support vs. 9 percent oppose), according to GS Strategies.
- According to a January 2020 Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 87 percent of Americans believe it is very important for Congress to lower prescription drug costs.
- “Nearly one-third of U.S. adults (30 percent) consider a candidate’s position on lowering drug costs to be ‘the single most important issue’ or ‘among the most important issues’ in influencing their vote in the 2020 election,” according to Gallup.