WASHINGTON, D.C. — Patients across the country are calling on President Trump and former Vice President Biden to discuss their plans to lower the prices of prescription drugs at the final presidential debate in Nashville Thursday.
“Ever increasing drug prices continue to hurt Americans all across the country,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “And with the pandemic stealing lives and livelihoods, voters need to hear from the candidates about how they will lower the prices of prescription drugs. We will be listening as the candidates lay out their final arguments Thursday — to hear how they will fight for patients and stand up against pharma.”
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly 9 out of 10 voters say lowering prescription drug prices is a top health care issue deciding their 2020 vote. And, 35 percent of voters say drug pricing is among their “most important” voting issues, according to Gallup.
Patients in 15 key battleground states have shared stories of the impact skyrocketing drug prices have had on their lives. Here’s a sample of what patients across the country want the presidential candidates to understand:
Blythe Kauhn, Chandler, AZ, type 1 diabetes: “I feel like more people need to understand that it’s not cheap to have conditions that don’t go away. We don’t get to say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to have diabetes this month.’”
Kris Garcia, Denver, CO, bleeding disorders: “When you cast your ballot, make sure your candidate has a plan to lower drug prices.”
Clayton “DJ” Martin, Jacksonville, FL, sickle cell disease: “As a father with sickle cell, with a daughter with the sickle cell trait, I worry about her future because of the high prices of drugs.”
Patricia McKenzie, Lithonia, GA, type 2 diabetes: “People have to choose between eating and their medications. They have to choose between life and death. And that should not be a choice. Not here in America.”
Jacquie Persson, Waterloo, IA, Crohn’s disease: “I’m voting for candidates who will stand up to Big Pharma and lower the prices of prescription drugs.”
Tammy de la Cruz, North Las Vegas, NV, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy: “The cost of this medication is anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500, and I get it every week. Without it, I fear I will become paralyzed again.”
Rose Keller, Concord, NH, cystic fibrosis: “The high cost of drug prices has stripped me, and other young patients like me, of the opportunity to dream about what we might be when we grow up.”
Don Kreis, Concord, NH, Rose’s father: “For my sake, and for the sake of my daughter, I hope you will vote for candidates who fight Big Pharma and stand up for lower drug prices.”
Steven Hadfield, Charlotte, NC, blood cancer: “The doctor has recommended me to work less. But I live in fear over my high drug prices.”
Sophie, 19, Grand Rapids, MI, type 1 diabetes: “It’s going to be my first time voting this year. Prices of drugs have a huge effect on my vote.”
Hazel, 12, Grand Rapids, MI, type 1 diabetes: “I hope you’ll vote for candidates who will fight for lower drug prices.”
Travis Paulson, Eveleth, MN, type 1 diabetes: “Since the pandemic has started, we’ve been forced to buy our medications and insulin at the extraordinary prices they charge here in the U.S.”
Heidi Kendall, Missoula, MT, chronic myeloid leukemia: “It’s scary to depend for my life on a drug that costs so much.”
Kolton Chapman, Pickerington, OH, ulcerative colitis: “When I was on Entyvio, I was responsible for paying $2,000 a month. It was more than I owe in student loans, so I ended up filing for bankruptcy because of my medical debt.”
Rachel Burnett, Pittsburgh, PA, Crohn’s disease: “It’s so unfair to have these illnesses, and it’s so unfair to have to pay so much just to stay alive.”
Candice Brown, Alexandria, VA, ulcerative colitis: “This drug pricing system was not meant to benefit me as a patient. It was meant to benefit Big Pharma.”
Leah Clark, Columbus, WI, Crohn’s disease: “I have big plans for my future, and I can’t afford to have the high cost of drug prices getting in the way of my accomplishments.”
In September, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now launched a national campaign lifting up the voices of patients who are calling on voters to support candidates who will stand up to Big Pharma and fight to lower prescription drug prices. The campaign features TV, radio, and digital ads alongside tools to give grassroots patient advocates the power to engage with candidates on the issue of drug prices. P4ADNow is an independent, bipartisan patient organization focused on policies to lower drug prices. It does not accept funding from any organizations that profit from the development or distribution of prescription drugs.