The next time Wordle needs a five-letter word for price gougers, we’re guessing P-H-R-M-A.
1. Big Pharma’s New Year Tradition
- A new report from P4AD takes a closer look at the drug industry’s price hikes on 554 medications so far this month, highlights the impact on patients, and calls on Congress to curb rising prices by passing the drug pricing reforms in the Build Back Better Act. The report also spotlights Pfizer, which raised prices on 125 prescription drugs — more than any other company — even after a record-breaking year of sales from its COVID-19 vaccine. “I’ve had to spend my entire paycheck on drug costs,” said patient advocate Ashley Suder, who lives with lupus and takes Pfizer’s Eliquis. “With the price increasing again, I worry about how I’ll make ends meet while still affording my drugs.” — (FiercePharma)
2. Keeping Up The Drumbeat
- Last week, P4ADNow released two ads calling on members of Congress to pass a reconciliation package including the already negotiated drug pricing reforms from the Build Back Better Act. The video ad running in Washington, D.C., features three patient advocates who take expensive prescription drugs, and the radio ad running in West Virginia highlights Senator Manchin’s opportunity to deliver on his support for Medicare negotiation. P4ADNow also sent a joint letter with AARP emphasizing that the Senate must take advantage of the moment at hand to pass landmark drug pricing reforms and help alleviate costs for families across the country. — (P4ADNow, P4ADNow, P4ADNow)
3. We’re All Paying The Price
- Patients, health advocates, and small business owners wrote to their local publications this week urging Congress to pass a reconciliation bill including drug pricing provisions. “Since [my patient assistance] grants dried up, I have been living with untreated MS. … My ‘golden years’ of retirement haven’t been what I envisioned at all,” writes Delaware patient Janet Schwartz. “When drug corporations don’t negotiate, we all pay,” explains Las Vegas business owner Peter Frigeri. “Lowering drug prices through Medicare negotiations … saves everyone money and makes the system more fair.” — (Bay to Bay News, Charleston Gazette-Mail, Las Vegas Sun)