Welcome to the Week in Review.
1. New Patient Ads: “It’s Time To Get It Done”
- On Tuesday, P4ADNow launched a six-figure ad campaign with two new video ads featuring patients who have struggled with the high prices of their prescription drugs calling on Congress to lower drug prices. This announcement is part of the “Push For Lower Rx Prices” launched last week by over 70 organizations pressing the Senate to make meaningful progress on comprehensive drug pricing reforms, including Medicare negotiation, by Memorial Day. “The medication I need to treat my MS is nearly $7,500 a month. I’m on Medicare, and I still can’t afford that,” says patient advocate Lisa from Detroit in one ad. Jacqueline, a college student and patient advocate from Austin who lives with ankylosing spondylitis, says in the other ad, “If Congress doesn’t lower drug prices now, a whole ’nother generation of us will suffer.” — (Politico)
2. Undeniable Momentum
- Voters and legislators continue to show support for the comprehensive drug pricing reforms in Congress. A new poll released on Thursday by Data For Progress shows strong support for President Biden’s investment package, including bringing down the cost of prescription drugs. The poll finds that large majorities (over 80 percent) of Democrats and Republicans support the comprehensive drug price provisions being considered by the Senate, which include allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. Senators Hirano, Schatz, Bennet, Murray and Whitehouse all voiced the urgent need for lower drug prices this week, and President Biden again touted Medicare negotiation as part of his plan to deliver lower prices to Americans. The momentum is here – Americansneed lower costs, and prescription drug pricing reform is top of mind. Congress, let’s get it done. — (Data For Progress, Maui Now, Concord Monitor, PBS NewsHour)
3. Tweetorial: Unaffordable Cancer Drugs
- Vanderbilt professor and health services researcher Stacie Dusetzina tweeted a poignant thread detailing her new paper in The New England Journal of Medicine about the cost of cancer drugs for Medicare beneficiaries. Dusetzina explains that the difference between affording and not affording cancer treatment in Medicare is whether your cancer drugs are pills covered through Part D or infusions covered by Part B. This system is arbitrary and inequitable, which is why Dusetzina implores Congress to pass pricing reforms in Part D that lower prices and cap out-of-pocket costs. — (The New England Journal of Medicine, Twitter)
One more thing: P4ADNow submitted comments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) this week describing the ways that the opaque business practices of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) may contribute to higher prices for patients and calling for a thoroughgoing investigation into PBM business practices.
Have a great weekend, everyone!