2023 is looking brighter than ever between Rihanna at the Superbowl and the $35 insulin copay caps for Medicare beneficiaries.
Welcome To The Week In Review (a day early, as P4AD is closed today).
- Bob At The White House ??
- On Tuesday, patient advocate Bob Parant, a Medicare beneficiary who lives with type 1 diabetes, shared his story about the high price of insulin at the White House, where he introduced and thanked President Biden for lowering drug prices with the Inflation Reduction Act. Bob lives in New York and takes the insulin Humalog, which costs him $300 out-of-pocket every 90 days. “Insulin cost is inhumane,” Bob shared ahead of introducing the president. “But thanks to President Biden and Democrats in Congress, the reforms in the Inflation Reduction Act will save me, and millions others, hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of dollars a year. The Inflation Reduction Act will allow me to do things I cherish – be able to travel to see my grandkids and also worry less about depleting my retirement savings.” During his remarks about lowering health care costs, the president shared, “From now on, if you’re on Medicare and you have diabetes, the cost of insulin can be capped at $35 a month per prescription – Bob just told you what a difference it’d make and is gonna make in his life.” President Biden also committed to continuing to fight to extend the reforms in the Inflation Reduction Act to more Americans. We are grateful to Bob for sharing his story and to President Biden for continuing to fight for patients. — (P4ADNow, Spectrum News)
2. Drug Reforms Bring “Peace Of Mind”
- Patients and advocates across the country continued to celebrate the life-changing drug price provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act that will bring relief to Americans. “With the health provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act comes the peace of mind that I will be able to afford my prescription medications and be one step closer to retiring,” shared Bernetha Patterson, a Georgia Medicare patient who lives with Type 2 diabetes. Steve Zuelke, a patient in Nevada, wrote, “A wealthy CEO is not worried about drugs costing $2000 a month. But for a working-class person? That price tag can be the difference between paying their utility bill or refilling a monthly prescription.” In Pennsylvania, AARP’s state director explained how the Inflation Reduction Act’s drug price provisions prove to be “a historic victory, and it couldn’t come at a more needed time.” And Washington’s AARP state president wrote, “For the first time in decades, Big Pharma’s relentless grip on their wallets, medicine cabinets and peace of mind will begin to be pried loose.” — (American Independent, Nevada Current, Penn Live, 3rd Act Magazine)
3. Pharma Putting Profits Over Patients
- Big Pharma won’t stop at anything to drive up profits. In the latest pharma settlement, Biogen is accused of paying kickbacks to doctors over a five-year span to boost sales of its multiple sclerosis (MS) drugs. This week’s $900 million deal was the second lawsuit the company has faced for trying to boost MS drug sales through unethical schemes. Last year, Biogen settled a $22 million deal in which they were accused of giving Medicare patients illegal copay assistance in an effort to drive more patients toward their MS medications. A new report released from Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of California San Diego examined Big Pharma’s notorious claim that high research and development costs necessitate high drug prices in the United States. The results? Researchers found no link between the two. As usual, it’s more fear mongering from Big Pharma – but patients know the industry only cares about lining its executives’ pockets, period. — (Fiercepharma, EurekaAlert!)
One more thing: This week, as part of our digital campaign, we looked at how the Inflation Reduction Act will cap insulin copays at $35 per month for Medicare patients like Bob and Patricia, beginning in 2023.
Have a great weekend, everyone!