Welcome to the Week in Review.
1. “We Have The Backing Of The American People”
- Majority Leader Schumer and Senator Manchin are continuing conversations to put together a reconciliation bill with the House-passed prescription drug pricing reforms, and members of Congress are doubling down on their commitment to lower drug prices. Senator Cortez Masto penned an op-ed explaining how Nevadans will benefit from the reforms, including Medicare negotiation, and Senator Sinema vowed to “keep working to lower costs for prescription drugs while fueling innovation.” Twenty House Democrats in competitive districts also sent a letter to Leader Schumer and Senator Wyden urging them to advance a reconciliation bill with the drug pricing reforms. “Let’s make good on this promise,” they write. “We have the votes and, more importantly, we have the backing of the American people.” — (Politico, Reno Gazette-Journal, Senator Sinema, Rep. Wild)
2. This Is Why We’re Fighting
- Advocates ramped up their calls for drug pricing reforms this week. Meg Jackson-Drage, a Utah patient who lives with fibromyalgia and is unable to afford her medication Lyrica, shared her story in a Scripps segment and a letter in The Salt Lake Tribune. “These reforms would make it possible for me to afford my medications without constantly worrying about how I will be able to make ends meet,” Meg writes. Protect Our Care released new ads thanking members of Congress who are fighting for the drugpricing provisions, and AARP hosted a “People’s Hearing” where seniors described how high drug prices are hurting them. “My doctor has repeatedly prescribed medications, and then I go to the pharmacy and have to decline them due to how much it would cost me,” says Kitty Ruderman, who lives with high cholesterol and osteoporosis. “Congress needs to bring some relief from this madness now.” — (Scripps Media, The Salt Lake Tribune, Protect Our Care, AARP)
3. Profits Over Patients
- Two new reports this week shed light on how drug companies exploit patients for profit. Researchers describe how manufacturers of inhalers have gamed the patent system to win monopoly pricing power and stave off competition for decades — of the 62 inhalers approved by the FDA over 35 years, only one had a new mechanism of action. Newly released internal documents also reveal the unethical behaviors that pharmaceutical companies engage in to increase prescriptions of their drugs. There’s no limit to what Big Pharma will do to grow its bottom line — and patients are paying with their lives. — (Endpoints News, ProPublica)
Have a great weekend, everyone!