WASHINGTON, D.C. — As Congress considers solutions to lower prescription drug prices, patient advocates across the country are voicing their support for allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices on behalf of Americans. With brand name drug prices in the United States four times higher than the prices in similar countries and one in three adults not taking their medicine as prescribed because of cost, it is clear that we need comprehensive drug pricing reform now.
No one understands the need for lower prices better than patient advocates, the people living with pharmaceutical companies’ high prices. They know there is a clear answer for unaffordable drug prices — strong Medicare negotiation legislation would deliver relief patients so desperately need. From letters-to-the-editor to social media to advocacy tools, patients are adamant that Congress act now!
Below is a highlight of what patient advocates are saying right now about Medicare negotiation.
Patients in their local opinion sections:
Here are some patient LTEs and op-eds that call on Congress to allow Medicare to negotiate.
Letter: Fearmongering from Big Pharma, Don Kreis, Parent of person who lives with Cystic fibrosis, Concord, NewHampshire
Concord Monitor, 9/6/21
My 19-year-old daughter lives with cystic fibrosis. The routine set of prescriptions she needs are priced at roughly $160,000 per year … Big Pharma is fearmongering because they know how important access to medications is for people like her. But allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices wouldn’t limit access at all, it would do the opposite.
Arizonans like me are fed up with high drug prices, and it’s time to fix that, Iesha Meza, Type 1 diabetes, Phoenix, Arizona
Arizona Mirror, 8/24/21
Our lawmakers in Washington, D.C., need to lower prescription drug costs urgently, so that Arizonans and Americans across the country don’t have to continue making difficult choices and impossible tradeoffs between paying for our prescription drugs or other necessary essentials.
Letter: Let Medicare negotiate drug prices, Jacquie Persson, Crohn’s disease, Waterloo, Iowa
The Courier, 8/22/21
If I knew that even without insurance, if the prescription that I needed was within reach, I would no longer have to stress about the “what ifs” … I know that Sens. Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst and Rep. Ashley Hinson want patients like me to be able to afford the medications I need. It’s time to allow Medicare to negotiate.
Letter: Manchin and Capito need to back Medicare drug-price negotiations, Ashley Suder, Systemic lupus, Morgantown, West Virginia
Charleston Gazette-Mail, 5/10/21
In the past, I’ve had to stop taking it altogether, patch together funding or switch from critical drugs that my doctors prescribed me to take to less-effective medications… Thankfully, the House of Representatives has reintroduced a bill that would allow Medicare to directly negotiate for lower drug prices. This is a big deal.
Don’t believe these ads, Tammy de la Cruz, Chronic inflammatory polyneuropathy, North Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas Sun, 9/2/21
Medicare negotiation wouldn’t limit access for patients, it would do the opposite. This policy would make sure patients can access the medications we need at prices we can afford.
Patients on Social Media:
Here are some posts from patient advocates sharing their experience with high drug prices and demanding reform:
Patient Advocacy Tools:
Through MedicareNegotiation.org, patients are contacting their members of Congress to demand passage of legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate.
Ramae Hamrin, Multiple myeloma, Bemidji, Minnesota: “In 2018, I was diagnosed with an incurable blood cancer called multiple myeloma. I rely on a daily oral chemotherapy drug called Revlimid to keep me alive. At the beginning of this year, the price of this drug went up by 4.5 percent, bringing it to over $15,000 each month. There is a clear answer to these high drug prices — allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices so that people like me don’t have to deplete their life savings, cash out their 401(k)s, and sell their homes just to be able to afford the drugs that keep them alive.”
Kris Garcia, Hemophilia, Denver, Colorado: “Having multiple bleeding disorders, including hemophilia, leaves me in a constant position of uncertainty. Any emergency can quickly turn into both a health and financial crisis. If Medicare were allowed to negotiate lower drug prices, patients like me would be given financial relief from the burdensome cost of prescription drugs. I know all too well that drugs don’t work if people cannot afford them, and it is long overdue that Medicare be able to negotiate for lower drug prices for patients.”
Lynn Scarfuto, Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Herkimer, New York: “Helping cancer patients find ways to pay for their medication was my job. When I was diagnosed with cancer, it became my life. But the medicine I depend on is priced at nearly $15,000 every month. What happens to millions of Americans like me who can’t afford the drugs we so desperately need. Congress, the opportunity to act is now.”
Watch in video form HERE.
Patricia Mckenzie, High blood pressure, Insulin-dependent diabetes, Lithonia, Georgia: “People have to choose between eating and their medications. They have to choose between life and death. And that should not be a choice. It is long past time for Congress to pass legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate fair prescription drug prices on behalf of people like me.”