The Week in Review in Prescription Drug Pricing
A world with lower drug prices for all? I want to be a Part Of That World. Welcome To The Week In Review.
- “The American People Won, And Big Pharma Lost”
- President Biden hosted an event at the White House this week to celebrate the signing of the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes historic drug price reforms that allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices, cap out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Part D members, and curb drug company price gouging. “This year, the American people won, and Big Pharma lost,” the president said to the crowd of legislators, advocates, and activists. Among them was P4ADNow’s David Mitchell and AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins, who fought on behalf of patients waiting for relief from high prescription drug prices. Members of Congress continued celebrating in op-eds outlining the monumental impact this law will have on patients. Rep. Spanberger wrote, “The Inflation Reduction Act moves our Commonwealth substantially closer to a stronger, healthier, and more affordable future — one that benefits Virginia’s seniors, not just the pharmaceutical companies.” — (KOAT, P4ADNow Twitter, David Mitchell Twitter, AARP, Seacoastonline, The Gettysburg Times, The Free Lance-Star)
2. Exposed: Patent Gaming
- I-MAK released a new report, Overpatented, Overpriced: 2022, that highlights the extent of drug company abuse of America’s patent system and the impact of these anti-competitive behaviors on patients. Our patent system is meant to reward innovation by granting drug companies a time-limited period without generic competition. After that period, generic drugs are intended to come to market, creating competition, and driving down prices. “But drugmakers often extend their patents by making small tweaks to the drugs, sustaining their monopolies for several years,” reports NBC. “The excessive use of the patent system — by drugmakers Bristol-Myers Squibb, AbbVie, Regeneron and Bayer — keeps the prices of the medications at exorbitant levels, often at the expense of American consumers.” When drug companies abuse the U.S. patent system to keep prices high, patients suffer. The report demonstrates the importance of reforming our patent system to bring an end to drug company abuses and lower prices for patients. — (I-MAK, NBC)
3. ?Pandemic Profiteering?
- Big Pharma keeps finding ways to profit off the pandemic. Moderna announced this week that it may seek to raise the price of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine to $100 per dose. That would be almost six times more than what the U.S. government initially paid for doses of the vaccine. And remember, taxpayers paid for the development of Moderna’s vaccine by investing billions of dollars in mRNA research prior to the pandemic and then underwriting 100% of the company’s research and development of the COVID-specific vaccine. Meanwhile, Moderna’s profits are soaring, with the company aiming to hit $13 billion in annual U.S. COVID vaccine sales. The U.S. government and taxpayers stepped up and this is how Moderna repays us; it’s despicable. — (Endpoints)
4. Polls Are In: Big Pharma Is Out
- Two new polls released this week confirm what we already know – the public has a negative opinion of Big Pharma and the U.S. pharmaceutical system. The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research’s poll shows that nearly 75 percent of American voters think prescription drug costs are handled poorly in the United States. And Gallup’s new poll reveals that over the last year, Americans’ views of the drug pricing industry have dropped six points, even as Big Pharma has tried to rehab its reputation amidst the pandemic. Americans know the truth: Big Pharma is taking advantage of patients. — (AP, Gallup)
5. Inflation Reduction Act’s Impact
- This month, P4AD launched a campaign highlighting the drug price provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act and how they will help patients. First, we took a look at how the new law requires Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies for lower prices. This may help patients like Steven, who takes Januvia, an expensive drug with a list price of $521 a month that could be eligible for Medicare negotiation. Second, we dove into the $2,000 annual out-of-pocket cap for patients on Medicare Part D that will help more than 1 million Americans every year. This reform will save patient advocate Jackie tens of thousands of dollars on the cancer drugs keeping her alive. “The $2,000 out-of-pocket cap would be life-changing for me and my husband,” Jackie shared. “We could finally replenish our savings account and do things we have been putting off like seeing the dentist; and I won’t have to worry about leaving my husband bankrupt.” Keep an eye out for more content in the coming weeks! — (P4AD Twitter)
Have a great weekend, everyone!