NEW JERSEY — Patients For Affordable Drugs Now launched a six-figure campaign encouraging Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to support legislation to lower drug prices by allowing Medicare negotiation. The push began on July 2 and includes TV ads, digital ads, and grassroots advocacy, in which patients will write and call Senator Menendez directly.
“In the last year, 2 million New Jersey families could not pay for medicine or drugs prescribed by their doctor,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “New Jerseyans are depending on Senator Menendez to help by ensuring Medicare can negotiate lower drug prices and that the savings go towards reducing costs for patients and consumers.”
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden recently released his guiding principles for drug pricing reform. It is expected that the Finance Committee’s bill will be considered for inclusion in the Democrats’ reconciliation budget package later this year.
“As the Senate Finance Committee develops detailed legislative proposals, we need Senator Menendez to lead on drug pricing reform that will deliver the innovation patients need at prices we can afford. We can have both,” Mitchell continued.
The campaign includes a new video ad featuring multiple sclerosis patient and registered nurse Therese Ball from Ogden Dunes, Indiana. To manage her symptoms, Ball is prescribed Tysabri, which is priced at $7,463 each month.
“As a nurse, I had patients who struggled to pay for their prescription drugs. When I was diagnosed with MS, I became one, too. The medications I need to live are priced at over $7,000 every month,” Ball, a grandmother and retired nurse, says in the video ad. “I can’t afford these prices. I had to ration and skip doses.”
“Congress is working to let Medicare negotiate lower drug prices. Ninety percent of Americans support it, and Senator Menendez should, too,” the ad says. “Patients need this reform, and we need his support.”
Watch the full video ad here and view the static ad below.
The New Jersey campaign is part of a national campaign calling on two key members of the Senate Finance Committee urging them to support legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. In addition to Senator Menendez, the campaign calls on support for Medicare negotiation from Senator Tom Carper (D-DE).
This campaign marks the launch of P4ADNow’s outreach to senators in the 117th Congress. It complements the patient advocacy group’s House campaign to support H.R. 3 first launched on May 20 with a seven-figure budget to 42 House districts across 22 states and in D.C, which then expanded last week to add two more House districts. This campaign is, in part, a counterweight to Big Pharma’s attack ads loaded with lies about H.R. 3 and included video ads, digital ads, and grassroots advocacy.