He’s not Biden his time — the president wants Medicare negotiation now.
Welcome to the Week in Review.
1. “We Have To Change This. And We Can.”
- On Thursday, President Biden delivered an enthusiastic speechhighlighting how his Build Back Better agenda will call for Medicare to be allowed to negotiate lower prescription drug prices and extend negotiated prices to the private sector. The president urged Congress to move forward on legislation to deliver on his plan, which comprises a strong, comprehensive set of reforms that will deliver much-needed relief to Americans. “These prices put the squeeze on too many families and strip them of their dignity,” President Biden said. “Medicare is going to negotiate a fair price!” — (The Washington Post)
2. The Power Of Our Stories
- President Biden featured patient advocate Gail deVore in his speech this week, and the White House released a video highlighting Gail’s one-on-one conversation with the president in the Oval Office. Gail lives with type 1 diabetes and uses Novolog insulin priced at $289 per vial. She was also invited to take over the White House Twitter account for a day. Gail, we are so proud of you for your tireless advocacy! Thank you for representingpatients across the country calling for immediate action to restore balance to our drug pricing system. — (The White House)
3. A Path Forward
- This week, as Senate Democrats took the next step on their path toward a reconciliation package to deliver on the president’s Build Back Better agenda, it’s clear that Medicare negotiation is a critical piece of the plan. During the vote, a group of senators up for re-election led an amendmentemphasizing their commitment to ensuring the drug pricing policy is included in the package. In addition to lowering drug prices for patients, the policy would save hundreds of billions of dollars for taxpayers through direct drug savings as well as lower Part D premiums. This is the year we can get it done. — (Axios)
4. “It’s Killing Americans”
- This weekend, P4ADNow will launch two new national ads calling on Congress to lower drug prices by allowing Medicare negotiation. The ads, which will run throughout August recess, feature five patients who have struggled to afford their prescription drugs. The campaign also launched a website hub for patients to contact their members of Congress and write to their local publications in support of Medicare negotiation. “No one should have to drain their bank account for relief,” Ashley, a psoriatic arthritis patient, says in an ad. “The system is broken.” — (P4ADNow)
5. PhRMA’s Nose Grows
- The Washington Post Fact Checker analyzed a new TV ad making the rounds from the drug industry lobby group PhRMA. The ad claims that the Medicare non-interference clause “protects access” to medicines and that negotiation would “make it harder for people on Medicare to get the medicines we need.” Fact Checker’s verdict? Three Pinocchios for misrepresenting Medicare negotiation as designed in H.R. 3 and for unsubstantiated fear-mongering. PhRMA is getting desperate as lawmakers work to hold the industry accountable — and now it shows it’s willing to lie to keep prices high. — (The Washington Post)