We go Back To December (2019’s Version) all the time.
Welcome to the Week in Review.
- What We’ve Been Waiting For
- This week, the House of Representatives reintroduced H.R. 3 Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, a package of drug pricing reforms that includes allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prices, limiting price hikes, and investing expected savings into research at the National Institutes of Health. These are the comprehensive reforms that the president and members of Congress pledged to deliver on the campaign trail. We are grateful for the House’s leadership on this critical piece of legislation. — (FierceHealthcare)
2. Let’s Get The Job Done
- Patients For Affordable Drugs Now launched a campaign with a new ad on Friday highlighting President Biden’s campaign promises to lower drug prices through Medicare negotiation. With bipartisan support from the vast majority of Americans, now is the time to take bold and decisive action to bring down drug prices for all. Mr. President, we know you won’t let patients down. — (Bloomberg Government)
3. States Take On The Mantle
- Minnesota, Oregon, and Maine state legislatures are also moving at full speed to protect patients from high prices. Just this week, the Minnesota House passed a bill that includes the establishment of a prescription drug affordability board, and the Oregon Senate passed a bill that would restrict abusive “pay-for-delay” deals. In Maine, patient advocate Lori Dumont wrote a letter to the editor sharing her brother’s experience with rationing insulin and urging legislators to advance a drug pricing bill package. From coast to coast, drug pricing is on the agenda. — (Take Action Minnesota, P4ADNow, Bangor Daily News)
4. No Sign Of Slowing
- Drug spending in the United States increased by $535 billion from 2019 to 2020, according to a report from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. The authors say that expenditures will continue to grow, due in part to a number of expensive new drugs currently in development. We must relieve the burden of out-of-control drug prices on patients and taxpayers.— (Axios)
5. Advertising Isn’t R&D
- Drug companies claim they need every dollar to fund the innovation of new drugs, but the industry continues to funnel billions of dollars into advertising and lobbying. Pharma spent over $6 billion on advertising last year, and more than $40 million on lobbying in the first quarter of this year alone. Clearly, there’s room to reduce profits without killing the innovation patients need. — (FiercePharma, Endpoints News)