Welcome to the Week in Review.
1. Pharma’s Legal Assault on the Inflation Reduction Act
- The pharmaceutical industry’s opposition to the new Medicare drug negotiation program introduced via the Inflation Reduction Act was back in the news this week. The continued legal assault on negotiating lower drug prices for patients reveals a familiar pattern: prioritizing massive profit margins over the affordability of life-saving medications for Americans. Large pharmaceutical corporations are using whatever avenues available to protect their financial interests rather than reduce drug prices for patients. The Department of Justice’s dismissal of these challenges this week highlights the Inflation Reduction Act’s constitutional backing and Congress’s authority to enact measures to address exorbitant drug pricing. Yet, the ongoing legal battles underscore the industry’s persistent efforts to manipulate systems to their benefit and their willingness to do whatever it takes to maintain a monopoly chokehold on medicines priced in the United States. In our commitment to supporting fairer drug pricing, Patients For Affordable Drugs endorsed two amicus briefs this week as part of our ongoing efforts in defense of the Inflation Reduction Act and support of lower drug prices for patients. And in 2024, get ready for an exciting announcement from us about a new patient-centered strategy set to shake up the status quo in favor of lower drug prices for patients across the country! (Inside Health Policy)
2. AbbVie’s Tactics Highlight Need for Pharmaceutical Reforms
- AbbVie’s relentless pursuit of market dominance for Humira continues to yield staggering profits at the expense of patients. The company’s efforts to maintain revenue by stifling competition through patent manipulation have drawn intense criticism, highlighting the controversial tactics prevalent among pharmaceutical giants to maintain their monopolies. These practices are emblematic of wider issues in the pharmaceutical industry and underscore the need for reforms aimed at preventing such abuse and fostering a more competitive and fair marketplace. The recent passage of the ‘Lower Costs, More Transparency Act’ in the House reflects increasing momentum toward a comprehensive healthcare package in January, where reforms aimed at tackling patent abuses and fostering competitive markets could be included. This recent op-ed by patient advocate Bob Parant in the New York Daily News similarly urges further action from Senator Schumer on these competition bills. Additionally, our community at Patients For Affordable Drugs is once again ramping up calls and letters into Senate offices, amplifying the push for these competition bills, reflecting a groundswell of support for addressing these critical issues. (Forbes, MedCity News, Politico, New York Daily News)
3. Rising Healthcare Costs and the Push for Affordable Medications
- In 2022, retail spending on prescription drugs surged, accounting for about 9% of total healthcare spending and reaching $405.9 billion—an 8.4% increase from 2021, following a 6.8% growth in 2020. The Biden administration has aimed to curb some of these escalating retail drug prices through the reforms in the Inflation Reduction Act, but also through the recent announcement that the administration could break the patents on drugs funded by taxpayer money if their prices prove excessively high, and highlighting agencies have the right to “march-in” if a drug isn’t reasonably available or affordable—a critical detail and an extra too use in the battle for fair drug pricing. (Idaho Capitol Sun, White House Fact Sheet)
Patients For Affordable Drugs will be closed through January 1st. Wishing you peaceful and restorative holidays and we look forward to sharing some exciting new updates in the New Year!