Welcome to the Week in Review.
- Price Hikes Price Out Patients
- A new Patients For Affordable Drugs analysis found that pharma hiked the prices of more than 600 drugs in the first week of January, with a median price hike of 4.99 percent — that’s over four times the rate of inflation. It’s no wonder Americans, overwhelmed by high prices, are unified in calling on lawmakers to take action and lower drug prices. — (Axios)
2. Let. Medicare. Negotiate. Now.
- According to a government study, the Department of Veterans Affairs paid, on average, less than half as much as Medicare Part D for the same drugs in 2017. The difference is attributed in part to the VA’s ability to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices. It’s why Big Pharma so fiercely opposes Medicare negotiation — and why it’s time for Congress to get it done. — (U.S. Government Accountability Office)
3. “Anything But a Free Market”
- A new bipartisan report from the Senate Finance Committee reveals that insulin prices have skyrocketed over the past decade due to abusive practices throughout the prescription drug pipeline. The massive price increases have led to huge benefits for drug makers and pharmacy benefit managers alike, while patients suffer. In Senator Chuck Grassley’s words, “there is clearly something broken” about the system. — (The Hill)
4. You’re Welcome, Pharma
- In the sixth installment in P4AD’s series on taxpayer investment into COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, founder David Mitchell says pharma should be thanking U.S. taxpayers for funding and de-risking the early research that led to the successful vaccines. Now that pharma’s stock value is soaring, executives are cashing out, and companies stand to reap billions in sales, there’s only one thing left to say: “You’re welcome.” — (P4AD)
5. We’re Powered By Patients
- In the newest episode of the Uninvisible Pod, P4AD Digital Director Samantha Reid shares how her Crohn’s disease diagnosis gives her an intensely personal reason to advocate for lower drug prices. Samantha has also testified in front of Congress on the need to rein in pharmaceutical price gouging and writes a blog about living with chronic illness. We are so grateful for her work every day! — (Uninvisible Pod)