The Week in Review in Prescription Drug Pricing
WE HAVE A LOT TO CELEBRATE THIS WEEK.
WELCOME TO THE WEEK IN REVIEW
1. Signed, Sealed, Delivered!
- It’s official: On Tuesday, President Biden made history by signing into law the Inflation Reduction Act, which will lower prescription drug prices and cap out-of-pocket costs for at least 50 million Americans on Medicare. “President Biden, along with Democrats in the Senate and House, fulfilled their promises to the American people by standing firm in the face of assaults from Big Pharma and passing unprecedented reforms,” sharedP4ADNow founder David Mitchell. “As a result, they have changed the trajectory of drug pricing in the United States.” The President penned an op-ed in Yahoo News before the event, writing, “The big drug companies spent nearly $100 million to beat this law. We prevailed.” He’s right – “this was unquestionably the biggest political loss Pharma has suffered,” Henry J. Kaiser Foundation’s Larry Levitt told HuffPost. P4ADNow’s Lucy Westerfield spoke with Spectrum News about the monumental change. “It’s going to be really enormous relief for patients on Medicare, patients who have high costs on their Medicare plans,” Westerfield said. “But also, it’s going to fundamentally change the way that pharmaceutical manufacturers have control over our pricing nationwide.” (Money.com, P4ADNow, Yahoo News, HuffPost, Spectrum News)
2. Hats Off To Patients For Advancing Popular Rx Policy
- Following the President’s signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, P4ADNow founder David Mitchell sent a letter and video to our incredible patient community, thanking them for fighting for these reforms. “I cannot emphasize this enough: The victory would not have been achieved without tireless advocacy from people such as yourself. Your dedication to sharing your real, lived experiences and to write a letter or make a phone call made it possible to reach policymakers in Washington and counter the power of the drug companies; you are the force behind these reforms. Thank you.” It’s no wonder hundreds of thousands of patient advocates rallied around the drug price reforms – they are the most popular component of the Inflation Reduction Act, according to a new Politico-Morning Consult poll. Another poll released this week by Navigator Research reports that 81% of Americans support capping out-of-pocket costs on prescription drugs for seniors, 81% of Americans support capping insulin costs for seniors at $35 per month, and 80% of Americans support giving Medicare the power to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices. Americans know what they want, and patient advocates know how to get it done. (P4ADNow, P4ADNow, Politico, Navigator)
3. Drug Price Reforms In Action
- Now that the Inflation Reduction Act has been signed into law, experts, news outlets, and advocates are diving into the details of each drug pricing provision and what relief will look like for patients. Articles explained how drug companies will be penalized if their price hikes out-pace inflation, ensuring costs are kept in check for seniors, and how Medicare will finally have the power to negotiate lower drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. The $2,000 out-of-pocket cap on drug costs, which will start in 2025, will help patients like Ginny Boynton in Pennsylvania who is currently taking a drug with a six-figure price tag to treat her Lambert Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome. At an event with Senator Casey this week, she shared, “that provision alone will ensure that I can take my Firdapse as intended, and will save me thousands of dollars every year.” And on a podcast, P4ADNow’s Sarah Kaminer Bourland discussed in detail the insulin provisions, which will limit insulin copays to $35 per month for Medicare beneficiaries. Experts also highlighted that seniors aren’t the only ones to benefit, as these reforms are expected to affect the commercial market. “Medicare is a leader in health policy and payment models, and what they do really trickles out,” influencing other segments of the market, Sarah Kaminer Bourland explained. (Boston Globe, Center for American Progress, Kaiser Family Foundation, New York Times, WGAL, PennLive, Diabetes Connections, MarketWatch)
One More Thing: Prior to the House vote on the Inflation Reduction Act, P4ADNow founder David Mitchell sat down with Rachel Cohrs of STAT to discuss the work leading up to this monumental moment and his plans for the drug pricing fight ahead. You can check it out here.
Have a great weekend, everyone!