My name is Cynthia Tidrick and I live in Princeton, WV. I’m 60 years old, work as a contractor for a life science company, and live with emphysema.
Emphysema is a progressive lung disease that, even when treated, leads to shortness of breath and continued scarring. So that I can support myself, perform activities of daily living, and enjoy physical mobility, I need a long acting inhaler called Bevespi. This medication opens my airways and helps me breathe easier. However, Bevespi has become increasingly unaffordable.
I am a Technical Writer and for the last decade have worked as contracted labor. I continue to work contracts, usually six months at a time. Consequently, my health insurance is always precarious. Over the past few years, the cost for my inhaler has ranged by hundreds of dollars depending on my insurance plan. But over the last 18 months, which included two contracts and a period of unemployment, I have paid and continue to pay $449 for a 30 day supply. I am bewildered by the high price of my inhaler.
I have tried other long acting inhalers that were financially affordable, but the side effects were debilitating and required additional medications to treat.
Thus far, I am very lucky to be able to afford my inhaler despite this high cost. But all that has to happen is for my current contract to fail to renew, and I am in trouble. I budget around this cost and keep the price in mind every month. I am 60 and believe I would be better served by affordable medication and saving that $400 dollars a month for my pending retirement. The fewer services I need as a retired senior, the better for West Virginia and the United States tax payer.
Lower drug prices for long acting inhalers like Bevespi would bring peace of mind to me and countless other patients across the country. Having predictable costs over time makes budgeting easier, savings more robust, and we all know less stress makes for a happier public.
Currently, Congress has the chance to pass meaningful drug reforms that would allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, curb drug price increases that exceed inflation, and cap out-of-pocket costs for seniors. I need my Senator, Joe Manchin, to pass these reforms now. West Virginians like me can’t wait any longer for relief from high drug prices.
|“Tell Senator Sinema To Do The Right Thing — Don’t Sell Out Arizonans To Big Pharma”|
|WASHINGTON, D.C. — Patients For Affordable Drugs Now announced a new ad today in Arizona as part of its campaign to push for inclusion of strong legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices in the Build Back Better Act. The ad comes as efforts to include drug pricing provisions in the reconciliation package have surged in recent days after the president’s framework failed to include such provisions. |
The new ad, which will run on Arizona cable television and digital platforms starting this week, features Tucson patient advocate Brenda Dickason, a small business owner and former police detective and teacher who lives with asthma and severe allergies. In addition to this new ad, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now is continuing to run an ad calling out Senator Sinema and Reps. Peters, Rice, and Schrader for their ongoing efforts to gut and block Medicare negotiation legislation. The campaign also includes grassroots advocacy, in which Arizonans contact Senator Sinema to support passage of legislation to lower drug prices.
“Right now, Senator Kyrsten Sinema is working to weaken a provision to lower the prices of prescription drugs that enjoys support from 90 percent of Americans — Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike,” said David Mitchell, a patient with incurable blood cancer whose drugs carry a list price of more than $900,000 per year and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “It’s gone on long enough. Senator Sinema must support strong Medicare negotiation, or she will be ignoring the will of the people she represents — 9 out of 10 Arizona voters.”
Watch the full ad here.
“Senator Sinema, we’re counting on you to keep your promise and allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices,” Brenda, a Medicare beneficiary who depends on EpiPens that are priced at $250 for a pack of two, says in the ad. “I devoted my life to serving my community as a police detective and teacher. When it was time to retire, I had to start a small business just to afford my medications. I still can’t afford all of my prescriptions and I can barely keep my business afloat. As Arizonans and Amercians, we deserve better.”
In 2018, Senator Sinema ran on a promise to lower drug prices. She has since received $108,500 from the drug industry in the 2020 election cycle. Sinema’s new federal election filing shows she raised roughly $55,000 in the third quarter of 2021 alone from drug industry executives and political action committees. She has been an obstacle to proposals from the White House and Congress that allow Medicare to negotiate lower prices for the most expensive drugs that patients struggle to afford. The senator reportedly agreed to a drug pricing provision similar to those in a bill designed by Reps. Peters and Schrader that masquerades as drug pricing reform but would actually maintain the status quo and keep prices high.
“Tell Senator Sinema to do the right thing — don’t sell out Arizonans to Big Pharma,” the new ad concludes.
This ad comes as momentum has been building over the weekend to ensure that the most popular provision — allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices — is included in the Build Back Better Act. Congressional leaders have been working to agree on meaningful provisions for the package that would lower prices for patients. Democratic members on both sides of the Capitol have been clear that Medicare negotiation must be included in the final package.
All recent P4ADNow ads can be found here.
My name is Brenda Dickason and I am a retired Tucson police department detective and middle school science teacher. I have asthma and am also allergic to both bee stings and latex. I am also a small business owner who sells specialty soaps and seasonal wreaths — in large part to help pay for the very expensive medications I need for my asthma and allergies.
I am supposed to carry an EpiPen with me at all times to avoid hospitalization for my severe allergies. I am 66 years old and recently switched to Medicare. I can’t believe how expensive my EpiPens are on Medicare — over $250 each and every time. Because of the price, I have a difficult time refilling my prescription.
There have been times where I could not afford to carry an EpiPen and ended up hospitalized with anaphylactic shock after being exposed to latex.
I have worked hard my entire life, giving back to my community as a detective and teacher and was looking forward to my retirement. I had no idea how crippling the costs of both my EpiPen and inhaler would be. I now rely on my small business sales in order to be able to afford the cost of my prescriptions.
It is unfair that seniors like myself should have to worry as much as I do to afford our prescriptions. I shouldn’t have to spend my retirement praying that my small business sales go well so that I can finally purchase my EpiPen. It isn’t right. Something has to change. Drug prices must be lowered now.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Patients For Affordable Drugs Now launched a six-figure Arizona ad today as part of its campaign to support legislation that would lower drug prices for Americans by allowing Medicare to negotiate. The new ad, which will run on Arizona cable and digital platforms starting today, features Phoenix patient advocate Iesha Meza, who lives with type 1 diabetes and depends on insulin to survive. In addition to the video, Arizona advocates are contacting their members of Congress to support passage of legislation to lower drug prices.
“When you have diabetes, insulin is like water — without it, you’ll die. Now imagine if water cost $300 a vial. I had to ration my insulin, and it almost killed me,” Iesha tells Congress in the ad. “Millions of Americans can’t afford the medicines they need to survive. That shouldn’t happen in our country. We need Congress to finally do something.”
Watch the full ad here.
“Arizonans are counting on their members of Congress to pass strong drug pricing reform that includes Medicare negotiation, which 9 out of 10 of Arizona voters support,” said David Mitchell, a patient with incurable blood cancer whose drugs carry a list price of more than $900,000 per year and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “As our ad says, ‘Patients across Arizona need Congress to let Medicare negotiate lower drug prices. The time is now.’”
Both SenatorSinema and SenatorKelly ran on a promise to lower drug prices, and Senator Kelly has sinceadvocated for passing Medicare negotiation legislation by including it in the reconciliation package.
On Capitol Hill, Senate and House leadership along with President Biden are working to craft a reconciliation package that has the support of all Democratic members of Congress. The current House version of the package includes H.R. 3, a comprehensive bill that allows Medicare to negotiate lower prices. Senate leaders are also currently drafting legislation that will allow Medicare to negotiate, which would deliver on the president’s Build Back Better plan under rules of reconciliation.
Patients For Affordable Drugs Now is also continuing to run two nationaladsthat combat Big Pharma’s lies and scare tactics. These ads are part of a seven-figure campaign that includes digital ads running across a variety of websites and news outlets and congressional outreach, where patient advocates are contacting their members of Congress to demand passage of legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate. P4ADNow’s recent ads can be found here.
ARIZONA — As Congress works on a budget plan that includes giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, a new project shows the overwhelming, bipartisan support for this reform across Arizona.
The findings are part of a new website and interactive map showing support for district-by-district and state-by-state data. Arizona lawmakers and constituents can now find the level of backing for Medicare negotiation, opinions about pharmaceutical companies, concerns about Congress failing to act, and belief in pharma’s top arguments. The project was conducted by Data for Progress on behalf of Protect Our Care and Patients For Affordable Drugs Now.
The model shows that:
The Arizona data were determined using a large national sample of more than 4,000 likely voters and a sophisticated computer modeling program. Using the large sample combined with voter profiles, support levels have been modeled for all 50 states and 435 congressional districts, including Arizona, and can be viewed here. The Data for Progress team used advanced modeling techniques known as MRP (multilevel regression with poststratification) to estimate support at the congressional district and state level. More on methodology can be found on the website.
“This issue has been litigated in the court of public opinion for years now, and even in the midst of a pandemic, voters are clear: They want Medicare to negotiate lower prices on behalf of Americans,” said David Mitchell, a patient with an incurable blood cancer whose drugs carry a list price of more than $900,000 per year and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “Patients and consumers are hurting, too often having to choose between paying outrageous prices for their drugs or covering costs of other necessities. We support Congress and the Biden administration as they act to end this injustice in America.”
“Americans pay more for prescription drugs than anyone in the world. Big Pharma’s greed knows no bounds, and Americans from all walks of life are hurting from skyrocketing costs,” said Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse. “The new polling from Data for Progress confirms that voters are fed up with the status quo and demanding action from their elected officials. It is imperative that Congress give Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for all Americans — any lawmaker that tries to stand in the way is on the wrong side of this issue and on the wrong side of their constituents.”
“These numbers make it abundantly clear that voters want prescription drug price reforms,” said Sean McElwee, Executive Director at Data for Progress. “With strong support for allowing Medicare to negotiate to lower drug prices and the belief among voters that prescription drug prices are unreasonable, it’s clear that Congress must act to make these changes.”
Nationwide, the survey found that by more than a 2-to-1 margin, voters are more concerned that Congress won’t do enough to rein in the cost of prescription drugs than that Congress will go too far in restraining prices.
This new poll comes as the Senate Finance Committee is drafting legislation that would allow Medicare to negotiate, which would deliver on the president’s Build Back Better plan. The House of Representatives will begin marking up the reconciliation package, including a version of its Medicare negotiation legislation, H.R. 3, this week.
My name is Sherry and I’m from Oro Valley, AZ. I take a drug called Topamax to treat my intense migraines, but it’s so expensive that I have to cut down on other areas of my life.
I’ve been taking Topamax for 25 years, and back then, I remember paying around $50 for a 30-day supply. These days, it costs about $280 out-of-pocket for a three-month supply, even after insurance coverage. I have to continue using the brand-name drug because the generic doesn’t control my migraines as well.
I don’t have any choice but to keep using Topamax because it really reduces the number of migraines I get. Without this medication, I’m completely non-functioning. My migraines can last for up to four days and prevent me from working and carrying out my daily routines. When I get a migraine, the lights are blinding and I’m constantly nauseous. It feels impossible to think and it’s even painful to lie down — you don’t want your head to touch anything. Topamax allows me to live a more normal life.
Topamax is the most expensive medication I take, but I’ve seen the prices of my other drugs increase as well. Ascomp with codeine, another medication for headaches, costs $30 for a month’s supply even though it used to cost $5. Similarly, Synthroid now costs $20 instead of $6 for a 90-day supply. These expenses take a big hit on my budget and make it impossible to put money away for emergencies.
Drug companies are ripping off older people simply because they can. I’m sick and tired of working for what I have and losing everything because I need to pay for my medications. And yet it doesn’t feel like anyone is paying attention to this issue. It’s time for our lawmakers to take care of America’s seniors and work on getting drug prices down once and for all.
PHOENIX — As rising drug prices continue to crush patients and the window for Congress to act closes, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now expanded its multi-million dollar campaign into Arizona to ask Sen. Martha McSally to support a key bill in the Senate that would protect Americans from unjustified drug price hikes.
Watch the ad campaign video, “Ashley.”
Currently, the average American pays two to three times more for prescription drugs than citizens in other wealthy countries. The Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019 would curtail runaway price hikes in America and cap out-of-pocket costs for patients on Medicare, who can face more than $15,000 a year in drug costs.
“President Trump supports the Senate bill, and now, we’re asking Senator McSally to join in calling for a vote on this important legislation,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “Patients are asking her to stand with us — not Big Pharma.”
Today’s ads are part of the multi-million dollar campaign Patients For Affordable Drugs Now launched last month that features patients speaking out in support of proposals in the House and Senate to rein in skyrocketing drug prices. The campaign features TV, digital, and radio ads across the country that show the toll high prescription drug prices are taking on everyday Americans. In addition to paid media, the effort features visits from patients to Washington to share their stories in person and gives patients a suite of tools to contact their representatives in support of lowering drug prices.
Big Pharma is spending millions to distort, demonize, and relentlessly attack these proposals because the changes could actually break the rigged system that keeps pharma profits high and patients’ costs skyrocketing.
Americans overwhelmingly support action to lower drug prices. Eighty-six percent of Americans — majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — support allowing Medicare to negotiate. Nearly 1 in 3 adults report not taking their medicines as prescribed due to cost.
The mission of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now is to educate the public and mobilize patients to advocate for policies to curb runaway drug prices in America. Touted by The Hill as “a leading drug pricing advocacy group,” Patients For Affordable Drugs Now is a bipartisan non-profit organization established under Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Service code. As a 501(c)(4), P4ADNow engages in electoral activity and direct advocacy in support of legislation that would lower drug prices.