This April, we won’t let Big Pharma fool us: We can have the drug innovation we need at prices we can afford.
Welcome to the Week in Review.
1. Priority #1: Full Drug Pricing Package
- On Thursday, the House of Representatives passed legislation to cap copays for insulin for the second time. The provision was included in the historic comprehensive package of drug pricing reforms passed by the House in November and currently under consideration by the Senate. The package is composed of key reforms, including Medicare negotiation to lower drug prices, which is the most popular part of the president’s economic plan. “To be clear, comprehensive reform is urgently needed to lift the crushing burden of prescription drug prices,” Speaker Pelosi explained. Democrats in the Senate have the votes and must act urgently to pass the complete package of reforms through reconciliation and lower drug prices for all Americans, including those who take insulin. Patients can’t wait any longer. — (Common Dreams, Navigator Research, P4ADNow)
2. Saving Money, Improving Access
- This week, patients and an elected state official called on Congress to pass the package of drug pricing reforms to deliver lower drug prices for Americans. “I live with chronic lymphocytic leukemia and the medication keeping me alive is priced at almost $15,000 a month. Just last month, its manufacturer hiked the price by $1,030,” shares New York patient advocate Lynn Scarfuto. Medicare negotiation “will save lives by allowing access to life-saving drugs for many Americans who can’t presently afford them,” explains Nevada cancer survivor Joyce Newman. “I urge congressional leaders to pass these significant health care provisions to provide much-needed relief to families across New Jersey and the country,” writes New Jersey Assemblyman John McKeon. — (Albany Times-Union, Reno Gazette Journal, Star-Ledger)
3. Time For A Course-Correct
- A new analysis shows that cancer drug prices rose in the United States between 2009 and 2020 while prices in Germany and Switzerland decreased or kept pace with the rate of inflation over the same time period. The difference, according to the authors, can be attributed to the fact that Germany and Switzerland negotiate lower prices with drug manufacturers while the United States is prohibited from doing so. The inability of Medicare to negotiate over the past two decades has had lasting ramifications for patients and taxpayers — let’s course-correct and pass Medicare negotiation legislation now. — (Endpoints News)