Welcome to the Week in Review.
1. We’re Leaving Money On The Table
- As part of an ongoing congressional investigation into pharma’s abusive pricing practices, a new report from the House Oversight and Reform Committee estimates that allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices could have saved taxpayers over $25 billion on just seven drugs between 2014 and 2018. Internal documents also reveal that drug companies continue to hike prices in the United States because of Medicare’s inability to negotiate — and it’s patients like Meg, Lynn, and Heidi who are hurt most by the burden of these high prices. — (House Oversight and Reform Committee)
2. Roundup! Drumbeat Of Patient Voices
- Over the past few months, more and more patient advocates have written to their local publications, shared their stories on social media, and directly contacted their members of Congress to call for Medicare negotiation. Patients recognize that this is the best chance in years to pass this critical reform and are ramping up their advocacy in response. Congress: Listen to patients. Now is the time to get it done. — (P4ADNow)
3. Money Talks
- Reps. Peters (CA-52) and Schrader (OR-05), who voted against H.R. 3 in last week’s House Energy and Commerce Committee markup, have both received large campaign contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, according to data from OpenSecrets. Rep. Peters has already taken $88,550 from the industry for the 2022 election cycle, and Rep. Schrader received $144,252 during the 2020 cycle. It’s clear that the congressmen are fighting for Big Pharma over patients, and their constituents are takingnote. — (OpenSecrets)
4. Representatives Take A Stand
- This week, representatives from across the country wrote op-eds highlighting the drug pricing crisis in America and urging passage of strong Medicare negotiation legislation. “For far too long, the pharmaceutical industry has dictated who in America has access to the medicines they need for their health and well-being,” Rep. Wild wrote in The Hill. In The Washington Post, Reps. Allred, Axne, Davids, Kim, and Spanberger explained, “Congress can stand on the side of consumers and take decisive action to lower prescription drug costs for millions of Americans. By giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices, Congress can make sure patients come first.” Thank you, representatives! Patients have your backs. — (The Hill, The Washington Post)
5. The Urgency Of Reform
- A new poll from Gallup and West Health shows that nearly 18 million Americans were unable to afford a prescription drug in their household over the past three months. And in the past year, 10 percent of Americans have personally skipped a dose or have had a family member skip a dose of medication to save money. It’s unacceptable that patients are being forced to choose cost-saving measures over medically prescribed treatment. Lowering drug prices is a matter of life or death. — (Gallup, West Health)
One more thing: Read about why Americans need Medicare negotiation now from drug pricing experts in The Washington Post, a Delaware state representative in the Delaware Business Times, a mother of a bone marrow transplant patient in the Western Tribune, an attorney in The Weston Democrat, and astute readers in the Los Angeles Times.