The Senate is back in D.C. and patients are bringing the heat to pass reforms! Here’s to lower temperatures and lower drug prices.
Welcome to the Week in Review.
1. P4ADNow Launches New Ads To Push For Competition First 10 Drugs Eligible For Negotiation Announced
- P4ADNow launched a six-figure ad campaign this week as the Senate returned from August recess. The campaign includes two video ads, running on digital and TV platforms in Washington D.C., which feature patients urgently calling on the Senate to pass a bipartisan package of bills to curb Big Pharma abuse and ensure competition to lower drug prices. In one ad, Jacqueline Garibay, a college student from Austin, Texas, shares her experience living with ankylosing spondylitis — an autoimmune disorder that affects most of her major joints. “The last time we had to buy my medication, I decided to forgo it. We just couldn’t afford $6,000 a month,” says Jacqueline in the TV ad. The second ad features Lisa McRipley, a Richmond, Texas patient who is on Medicare and lives with multiple sclerosis. Lisa explains in the video what it’s like to pay $7,500 a month for her medication: “But without it, my disease will progress irreversibly – I could lose my independence solely because of outrageous drug prices.” The campaign also includes digital ads as well as grassroots advocacy in ten states, thanking twelve senators for fighting to lower drug prices by ensuring passage of a bipartisan package to boost competition. Patient advocates are sending a clear message to the Senate: Lowering drug prices through curbs to anti-competitive practices and timely generic competition is crucial to patients who face some of the highest prices in the world. — (P4AD, Endpoints, Bloomberg Government, The Washington Post, The New York Times, New York Amsterdam News)
2. Overwhelming Support For The Inflation Reduction Act
- Drug price advocates and elected officials continued to spread the word about the historic drug price reforms in the Inflation Reduction Act this week. P4AD’s David Mitchell joined a roundtable with Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra on the savings anticipated from Medicare negotiation. David also joined a press event with Senator Peter Welch and Families USA to celebrate the landmark announcement of the first ten drugs eligible for negotiation. P4AD’s Merith Basey explained in an interview that because the drugs eligible for negotiation are some of the most expensive for patients on Medicare, the expected savings will be substantial. “I’m thinking of a patient in Glenville who stopped taking Januvia and Jardiance because of the high cost,” wrote Senator Amy Klobuchar in an op-ed. “A lower price could be game-changing for his health and reduce his expenses.” The widely supported Medicare price negotiation program will rein in Big Pharma abuses that harm patients. While drug companies are crying wolf that revenue and innovation are at risk with Medicare negotiation, we know the truth: Big Pharma will still enjoy huge profit margins while taxpayers are the ones who fund the majority of basic development leading to new drugs. “IRA will stimulate innovation,” David explained. “This will force [drug companies] to bring better drugs, innovative drugs, to market so they can charge higher prices for them.” — (Loudoun Times, WAMC, Yes! Magazine, Cape Charles Mirror, Southern Minnesota, YouGov, Bloomberg, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, pharmaphorum)
3. Financial Burden Of High Drug Prices
- The high price of drugs forces patients to ration or even forgo their medications, reported Emma Bardin of Medcity News. Non-adherence to medication can not only worsen health complications but also represents a financial burden on the health care system, costing between $100 billion and $290 billion every year, according to a review of studies by Annals of Internal Medicine (AIM). “Financial toxicity, a term used to describe financial problems and stress caused by medical costs, affects anywhere from 15% to 65% of patients,” Dr. Fumiko Chino of Memorial Sloan Kettering told Cure Today. We know that one in four Americans struggle with affording their prescription drugs due to high cost — and we won’t stop fighting to lower drug prices until reforms are extended to all patients. — (Medcity News, Medpage Today, Cure Today)
Have a great weekend!