Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, millions of patients won’t get Tricked by Big Pharma, only Treated to lower drug prices ?
Welcome To The Week In Review (a day early, as P4AD is closed today).
- Popular Provisions
- A new poll from NBC News found that lowering health care costs and prescription drug prices is the most popular position that midterm candidates have taken during the general election. 84 percent of voters said they’re most likely to support a candidate with this position. It’s no wonder drug price reforms are popular – the provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act will be life-changing for Americans. “The drug pricing reforms that Congress passed are historic,” Senator Luján wrote in an op-ed this week. “Now, the 23,060 New Mexicans on Medicare will have their insulin costs capped at $35 per month.” The annual cap on Part D out-of-pocket costs along with requiring Medicare to negotiate “could save billions annually at the national level.” With World Psoriasis Day tomorrow, a patient with psoriasis celebrated how the provisions that “drive down drug prices are going to make a world of a difference for people like me, but also for countless working families, seniors, people with disabilities and communities of color.” — (NBC News, Las Cruces Sun News, Medscape, Minnesota Reformer)
2. Patient Feature: Therese Humphrey Ball
- This week’s Tradeoffs Podcast features patient advocate Therese Humphrey Ball in an episode about how the Inflation Reduction Act’s overhaul of the Medicare prescription drug program, Part D, will deliver relief to seniors like Therese who previously have been on the hook for thousands of dollars in drug costs. Therese shares her moving story of living with multiple sclerosis and how she had to ration and eventually go off one of her medications, Copaxone, which cost her $6,000 a month. Going without the medication caused Therese’s multiple sclerosis to progress until one morning, she was unable to walk. “You can’t imagine how mad I was,” Therese shared, “…to think that in the United States of America, people have to do this. It is not right.” Thankfully, Therese has since gained back mobility and has been a strong force of advocacy over the years. Her voice is one of many that helped pass the historic reforms in the Inflation Reduction Act. “I can’t control my disease or change that I have MS, but telling you my story and advocating for lower prices is something I can control.” — (Tradeoffs Podcast)
3. Patients Footing The Bills
- Prostate cancer drug Lupron Depot is a testosterone-suppressing drug invented nearly 50 years ago. After coming to market in 1973, Lupron’s manufacturers – Abbott and Takeda – abused the U.S. patent system to maintain a monopoly on the drug, allowing the companies to keep raising its price. Lupron is now priced at $5,866, and sold by AbbVie, for a three-month shot in the United States, compared to $260 in the United Kingdom. Because the shot must be administered at a hospital or doctor’s office, U.S. hospitals and clinics are able to markup the drug further to enhance their revenues. The high price of the drug incentivizes these upcharges and motivates providers to prescribe the drug. “Doctors and hospitals can earn tens of thousands of dollars each visit by marking up its price and administration fees.” For 60-year-old prostate cancer patient Paul Hinds, his bill for two shots of Lupron injections totalled $73,812 thanks to the high list price, lab work, and physician charges. Our drug price system allows every part of the drug pipeline to profit off of medications, leaving patients to foot the bill. We must reduce prices, stop patent abuses, and lower markups to deliver relief to patients. — (KHN/NPR)
Have a great weekend, everyone!