Happy Veterans Day! Hope everyone is resting up post-election.
Welcome To The Week In Review.
- Drug Pricing + The Election
- While the final outcome of the midterm elections continues to hang in the balance, one thing is certain: A key part of the Democrats’ campaign for Congress was the new drug price law. The New York Times reported: “Democrats touted [their policies including] capping the cost of some prescription drug prices and insulin for Medicare recipients.” NBC wrote: “Both sides of the aisle tackled inflation in their ads, with Democrats primarily touting their efforts to lower prescription drug prices.” As we know, the drug price reforms from the Inflation Reduction Act are very popular with voters. Despite calls from some Republican senators to repeal the provisions, the law is likely here to stay, regardless of the outcome of the election. That’s good news for patients and taxpayers alike. — (The New York Times, NBC, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal)
2. We Need Patent Reform
- Drug companies abuse the U.S. patent system to maintain monopolies on drugs, keep raising prices, and maximize profits. This week, Insider took a look at one of the worst offenders: Humira, a drug that treats several debilitating diseases, including severe arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. Its manufacturer, AbbVie, has been gaming the patent system for years – the company filed for over 300 patents and received over 160 patents on Humira, preventing any generics from coming to market in the United States. AbbVie has raised the price of Humira – which has remained basically the same drug – 500% since it came to market 20 years ago. The result? Americans pay up to $3,000 per Humira pen. Comparatively, generic forms have been on the market for years in Europe, where patients pay 90 percent less for the same drug. Priti Krishtel, one of this year’s MacArthur Foundation’s “genius” award winners, spoke to Insider about the unjust U.S. patent system, saying, “I just don’t think that people should have to pay their life savings for life-saving medicines.” She added, “We’re going to have to design a health system that works for Americans, and that is designed by Americans.” We’re with you, Priti! It’s time to reform our patent system to bring an end to drug company abuses and lower prices for patients. — (Insider)
3. Lower Drug Prices Now
- Americans continue to struggle to afford their prescription drugs. According to a new AARP report, nearly 1 in 5 adults between the ages of 40 to 64 said they’ve decided not to take medication as prescribed in the past 12 months because of cost. Annals of Internal Medicine’s report from last month estimated 1.3 million U.S. adults with diabetes rationed their insulin in the last year. The Washington Post uplifted the findings this week, highlighting that rationing was more common among lower and middle-income participants as well as Black participants. “The price of the four most popular types of insulin has tripled in the past decade,” the Post reported. A drug corporation cartel controls the world’s insulin market. It must change. We need lower drug prices now. — (AARP, The Washington Post)
Have a great weekend, everyone!