Welcome to the Week in Review.
1. Listen To Colorado Patients
- On Tuesday, Colorado patient advocates Gail deVore and Kris Garcia shared their experiences with high drug prices at a virtual roundtable with Senator Bennet and urged Congress to pass the drug pricing reforms from the Build Back Better Act. “I had to give up my dream of being a business owner because of how expensive my medications were,” said Kris, a patient who lives with several bleeding disorders, asthma, and severe allergies. “As someone who has been facing the outrageous price of insulin for decades, I can’t begin to tell you how much real, comprehensive drug pricing reform would mean to me,” shared Gail, a type 1 diabetes patient. There is a clear path forward for lawmakers to deliver lower prescription drug prices in the new reconciliation package. Patients in Colorado and across the country are demanding reforms — Congress must act now. — (P4ADNow)
2. Momentum Is Clearer Than Ever
- This week, Senator Brown, a patient advocate, and a veteran wrote to their local publications in support of allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. Senator Brown explains that the current ban on Medicare negotiation allows Big Pharma to price gouge for higher profits at the expense of Americans who depend on their medications. Patient advocate Therese Humphrey Ball, a retired nurse who lives with multiple sclerosis, describes forgoing her medication due to its high price. “Lowering drug prices through negotiations is a commonsense way to make medicines affordable for people on Medicare,” writes Michael Kanter, a Florida veteran. “Patients like me are counting on President Biden to make good on his promise and work with Congress to pass these reforms,” Therese urges. “We can’t wait any longer.” — (Wilmington News Journal, South Bend Tribune, Tampa Bay Times)
3. Big Pharma’s Big Money
- Big Pharma continued to break records this week. The industry is spending millions on TV ads while patients are struggling to afford the very prescription drugs Big Pharma is advertising. Eli Lilly’s diabetes drug Trulicity holds its winning streak with a hefty $45.8 million spend. And it’s no surprise that Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel’s pay jumped 41% to $18.2 million as the company’s COVID-19 vaccine expands globally. In the third year of a pandemic that has killed nearly 1 million Americans so far, Bancel is becoming filthy rich off a vaccine funded and paid for by taxpayers – profiteering off the pandemic at it’s finest. — (FiercePharma, FiercePharma)
HEADS UP: The Senate Finance Committee is holding a hearing on the urgent need to lower prescription drug prices on Wednesday, March 16. Keep an eye out for an email from us on Big Pharma talking points to watch out for during the hearing.