Welcome to the Week in Review.
1. Keep Moving Full Steam Ahead
- As talks between the White House and Senate Democrats progress, major drug pricing provisions, including Medicare negotiation, continue to be a top priority for inclusion in a reconciliation package. President Biden again told reporters this week that he believes Congress can pass reforms to lower drug prices. Secretary Yellen said, “We can bring down other costs that are burdening households like prescription drugs,” and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese said the White House is working closely with the Senate to move the reconciliation bill forward and is hopeful they can get the job done. But lawmakers must act quickly as the midterm elections draw nearer — time is running out to pass this legislation that will both lower prices for patients and save money for taxpayers. Senators, Americans are counting on you to deliver on your promises and get these reforms across the finish line. — (Bloomberg, The Hill, The Hill, The Post-Standard)
2. INSULIN Act: A Gift To Big Pharma
- This week, Senators Shaheen and Collins unveiled a bill to lower insulin costs — an issue that has special poignancy for Americans, as 4 out of 5 adults who live with diabetes or are caregivers for someone with diabetes have gone into debt to pay for insulin. However, the legislation only addresses insulin copays without guaranteeing lower list prices, which will result in cost-shifting and lead to higher premiums and taxes. Make no mistake: This bill is a capitulation to Big Pharma that allows drug makers to continue hiking insulin prices while leaving patients with less money in our pockets. If senators are serious about helping patients, they must pass the package of comprehensive drug pricing reforms, including capping insulin copays to $35 and historic provisions such as Medicare negotiation, through reconciliation. — (Roll Call, P4ADNow)
3. Pharma’s Up To No Good
- Pharma’s shady behavior has been in the spotlight this month. Throughout June, P4AD has been highlighting some of the drug companies with the highest 2021 revenues and how they repeatedly price gouge patients to maximize their profits. A new OpenSecrets report also details the deluge of recent pharma lobbying spending. Just last year, the drug industry groups spent over $350 million lobbying at the federal level and tens of millions more in state capitols — all to keep prices high and continue filling their coffers at the expense of patients. — (P4AD, OpenSecrets)
Have a great weekend, everyone!