Experts And Patients Held Press Call As Parliamentarian Reviews Biggest Health Care Bill Since ACA
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the drug pricing provisions in the reconciliation package are being reviewed by the parliamentarian, drug pricing experts and patients held a press call today and walked through the impact that the historic reforms will have on Americans. Below is a quick round up of notable quotes and you can find a 2-pager that explains the drug pricing provisions here.
Here’s a roundup of quotes from participating organizations and speakers on the call:
- “This reconciliation bill is historic and will lower prescription drug costs for millions,” said Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach. “Americans pay three times more for the same drugs as people do in other countries while drug companies make record-breaking profits. In the wealthiest nation on earth, no one should have to choose between putting food on the table and affording the medications they need to survive. The American people cannot wait any longer – it’s time to say no to Big Pharma and yes to America’s seniors and patients.”
- “Seniors are hurting from the rising cost of groceries and gas – and they’ve already suffered for years at the pharmacy counter. Congress is on the verge of passing reforms that will finally allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices and put a cap on seniors’ out-of-pocket spending for prescriptions. We urge the Senate to stand up to Big Pharma and their army of lobbyists and pass this historic legislation.” —Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer
- “The drug price reforms under consideration by the Senate right now are historic. They will, for the first time, bring an end to pharma’s unfettered pricing power and let Medicare negotiate lower prices, curb price gouging, and cap out-of-pocket costs for patients. We have been waiting nearly 20 years for these reforms; this is the biggest health care package since the Affordable Care Act. It’s time for Congress to get the job done.” —David Mitchell, cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now
- “Living with multiple conditions brings a host of expensive drugs — to afford mine I work multiple drugs … Januvia alone carries a monthly list price of $521 and was the fourth most costly drug for Medicare Part D in 2020. I live in fear of my high drug prices. Under the Senate drug pricing package, expensive drugs like Januvia would be eligible for negotiation under Medicare, bringing lower prices for patients like me and savings for Medicare.” —Steven Hadfield, cancer and type 2 diabetes patient
- “When I went on Medicare, I could not afford the over $7,000 a year for my MS DMT and had to stop my medication. My decision was based on money, not medicine. The proposals will help me tremendously. Although even $2,000 per year out-of-pocket is a lot of money, that cap on what I would have to spend on prescription drugs would allow me to afford to get back on my medication and I won’t have to worry about my MS progressing. Being able to spread out the $2,000 throughout the year, so I don’t have to worry about paying all of it in the first few months would be a huge relief for me. These things will immediately improve my quality of life and my health.” – Judy Wilson, multiple sclerosis patient and activist
- “Lowering drug prices means that we have more opportunities to pursue higher education and careers, and have at least some stability when we can’t control our health. For me, the inflation cap provision would mean that drug companies would no longer be allowed to increase the price of my medications infinitely. The predictability of my drug pricing would be monumental for me. This critical moment is important for us as young adult patients who see this legislation as a vehicle to enabling the empowerment of our generation of patients and those to come.” —Sneha Dave, executive director Generation Patient and ulcerative colitis patient
You can find a policy explainer of what is in the drug pricing provisions here.