Welcome to the Week in Review.
1. Ready For Reconciling
- In the greatest indication of momentum yet, Senate Democrats submitted the latest text of their comprehensive drug pricing reforms to the Senate Parliamentarian this week — the next step in its path to passage through reconciliation. The legislation, which is supported by all 50 Senate Democrats and over 80 percent of Americans, will deliver relief from high drug prices for millions of patients by allowing Medicare to negotiate directly for lower drug prices, curbing drug company price gouging, and capping out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Part D beneficiaries. The CBO found that the new legislation will save taxpayers over $287 billion over 10 years and again debunked one of Big Pharma’s favorite myths, finding the legislation would decrease the number of new drugs coming to market by under 1 percent — not the nuclear winter depicted by the drug industry. Patients know the truth: We can have the innovation we need at prices we can afford. There is no time to wait, the Senate needs to get it done now. (Punchbowl News)
2. AbbVie Up To No Good
- A report from the Senate Finance Committee this week found that drug giant AbbVie has been gaming the system by charging high prices, bringing in record revenues, and then avoiding U.S. taxes. The report finds that the U.S. is responsible for 75 percent of the pharma company’s sales, yet AbbVie reported just one percent of that for the purposes of U.S. income taxes. Big Pharma’s main goal? Big profits. (Washington Post)
3. Raising Prices Because They Can
- In a much welcomed collaboration, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are joining forcesto crack down on pharmaceutical companies’ manipulation of our patent system. Right now, corporations abuse the system in order to impede competition and keep prices high. The new effort is a result of President Biden’s 2021 executive order calling on the USPTO and FDA to collaborate on patent reforms that promote competition and encourage true innovation. Patent shenanigans by drug corporations have increased the price of some prescription medications by more than 300 percent— leaving patients struggling to afford their medications while pharma executives pad their bottom line. Patients are grateful for this much needed oversight. (USPTO, Mad In America)
Have a great weekend, everyone!