WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following statement was issued by David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, in response to reports of Senate Democrats advancing historic, comprehensive drug pricing reforms:
“It is indeed good news for patients and all Americans that Senate Democrats are moving forward with a comprehensive plan to lower prescription drug prices. When enacted into law, these reforms will be historic. For the first time, Medicare will be able to negotiate lower drug prices directly with drug corporations, penalties will be imposed on companies that raise prices faster than the rate of inflation, and there will be an annual out-of-pocket cap for beneficiaries in Medicare Part D.
“Each of these changes will help bring relief from unrelenting high drug prices in the United States, which run almost four times what other nations pay for the same brand-name drugs. Americans — Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike — overwhelmingly support these reforms, and those in Congress who help get them across the finish line will be rewarded at the ballot box in November. The way forward is clear; the momentum is strong. The Senate must pass the package through reconciliation this summer. We will do everything in our power to help get the job done.”
The following organizations are part of the Push For Lower Rx Prices campaign:
Alliance for Retired Americans
American Academy of Neurology
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Federation of Teachers
American Medical Student Association
Authentic Caribbean Foundation Inc.
Be a Hero
Blue Shield of California
Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy
Center for American Progress
Center for Medicare Advocacy
Citizen Action of Wisconsin
Colorado Consumer Health Initiative
Committee to Protect Health Care
Communications Workers of America
Consumers for Affordable Health Care
Doctors for America
Employers’ Forum of Indiana
FL #insulin4all, T1International
Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health
Health Access California
Health Action New Mexico
Health Care For All Massachusetts
Health Care Voices
Health Law Advocates
Human Rights Watch
Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK), Inc
Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)
Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action
Justice in Aging
Knowledge Ecology International
KS Business Group on Health
Lower Drug Prices Now
Main Street Alliance
Maryland Health Care For All! Coalition
Medicare Rights Center
Metro New York Health Care for All
National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
New Jersey Citizen Action
New Mexico Consumers for Affordable Prescriptions Coalition
Nurses for America
Oregon Coalition for Affordable Prescriptions
Patients For Affordable Drugs Now
Pennsylvania Health Access Network
Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law (PORTAL), Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Progressive Democrats of America
Protect Our Care
Purchaser Business Group on Health
R2H Action [Right to Health]
Social Security Works
Tennessee Health Care Campaign
United States of Care
Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut
Universities Allied For Essential Medicines (UAEM)
Unrig Our Economy
West Health Institute
|P4ADNow Launches “Debunking Big Pharma Week” To Set The Record Straight On Comprehensive Drug Pricing Reforms Now Before The Senate|
|WASHINGTON, D.C. — As Congress is on the brink of passing comprehensive drug pricing reform for the first time in two decades, Big Pharma continues to spread lies to scare patients and lawmakers in an attempt to maintain its unilateral power to dictate prices of brand-name drugs. This week, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now will debunk five of the industry’s lies about innovation, access, COVID-19 vaccines, out-of-pocket costs, and partisan priorities, and set the record straight with the truth about what the drug pricing reforms would mean for patients. As the Senate returns from recess next week, this campaign aims to arm members of Congress, press, and the public with the tools to counter Big Pharma’s lies so we can get on with the business of passing these historic provisions that will help millions of patients. |
We’ll be updating each day of the campaign here. Here’s day one:
BIG PHARMA DEBUNK DAY ONE: INNOVATION
? Big Pharma’s Lie: Drug pricing reforms will stifle innovation.
✅ The Truth: We can maintain the innovation we need at prices we can afford.
The comprehensive drug pricing reforms before the Senate will bring an end to the pharmaceutical industry’s unilateral power to set and raise prices at will, while maintaining the valuable drug innovation we need. As Big Pharma’s profits have continued to soar, the industry is falsely claiming that these reforms would grind research and development of new drugs to a halt. In reality, the legislative package passed by the House of Representatives would only decrease the number of new drugs over the next 30 years by 10 out of 1,300 expected new drugs – that’s less than 1 percent. Further, only 10 to 15 percent of new drugs are truly innovative in the first place. Any biopharmaceutical industry revenue lost from the proposed drug price reforms would only be a drop in the bucket for an industry with profits that are almost three times the average of the S&P 500.
The truth is, the drug pricing package continues to incentivize the industry to find new, innovative drugs in the same way we do now by allowing drug companies to set launch prices and giving new drugs nine to 13 years before becoming eligible for Medicare negotiation. The provisions protect special incentives to develop rare disease treatments and continue to reward pharmaceutical innovation.
Don Kreis’ daughter, Rose, lives with a type of cystic fibrosis for which the current breakthrough medications don’t work. Rose is still waiting for her miracle drug, but Don fears when it comes to market, Big Pharma will price it out of reach. “When a new drug comes to market, will she be able to even consider taking it? No one cares more about innovation than us — but these drugs are worthless if Rose can’t afford them,” he writes.
Kris Garcia, who lives with four bleeding disorders, asthma, and several allergies, explained in a recent op-ed in The Colorado Sun that, “We do not have to choose between innovation and lower drug prices. We can and will have both once the Senate passes these reforms through reconciliation.” Each vial of his medication, Humate-P, is priced at $10,000, and for each infusion, he needs four vials. “For me, these reforms would help bring predictability and consistency to my drug prices.”
|WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Susan Wild of Pennsylvania and David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, penned an op-ed in The Hill that calls on Congress to pass the comprehensive drug pricing reforms now before the Senate that include Medicare negotiation. The piece is in response to the House of Representatives passing a bill to cap monthly insulin copays for the second time — once in the comprehensive package last fall and again as standalone legislation. The piece explains that there is a clear path forward to enact historic and comprehensive reforms that bring relief to all patients — including those dependent on insulin — and save money for consumers and taxpayers, and calls on the Senate to get it done. Read the full piece here and below.|
|By Rep. Susan Wild and David Mitchell|
April 8, 2022
We are facing an historic opportunity in Congress to finally reform our rigged prescription drug pricing system that has forced Americans to pay almost four times what other nations pay for the same drugs and has left one out of four patients unable to afford the medications they need.
Last fall, one of us, Rep. Susan Wild, voted to pass comprehensive drug pricing reforms that would help millions of Americans afford expensive medications. The other one of us, David Mitchell, is a patient who would benefit directly from the legislation.
Right now, the Senate could follow the House of Representatives’ lead and pass the comprehensive reforms to deliver relief to all Americans with high drug prices. These historic reforms already have the necessary support to pass in the Senate – a clear path through reconciliation.
But the Senate is dragging its feet on reconciliation, instead focusing on passing just one component of the broad package: capping monthly insulin copays. Meanwhile, Rep. Wild and her colleagues in the House have now passed the insulin provision twice — once in the comprehensive package last Fall and again last week as standalone legislation.
To be very clear, it is beyond question that we need to provide relief to people who rely on insulin — the price of which skyrocketed 300 percent over a recent ten year period. But addressing high insulin prices is already included in the broader drug pricing package passed by the House of Representatives and now before the Senate. And there are millions of patients who rely on other expensive drugs who would benefit from the reforms in the whole package.
David, for example, lives with the incurable cancer, multiple myeloma. The list prices of the four cancer drugs keeping him alive total $935,000 annually. Just one of those drugs will cost more than $16,000 out-of-pocket this year. And he is far from alone.
The scope of the problem is enormous: More than 131 million people — 66 percent of all adults in the United States — use prescription drugs. More than 25 percent of American voters said they or a family member had financial difficulty affording a prescribed medication in the last 12 months. More than half of cancer patients report going into debt because of the price of their care, with chemotherapy and pharmacy drugs cited among the top reasons for that debt. One out of four people with diabetes reports rationing insulin due to cost. For patients with multiple sclerosis, the annual median price for brand name MS medications has increased almost 300 percent from $34,000 to $94,000 in less than 10 years.
The comprehensive drug pricing reforms would deliver relief to all Americans who are struggling by – for the first time – authorizing Medicare to negotiate prices directly for some of the most expensive prescription medicines; instituting a hard cap on out-of-pocket drug costs for millions of Medicare beneficiaries and people who are insulin dependent; and limiting annual price increases for prescription drugs to no more than the rate of inflation.
To put this into perspective, if Congress succeeds in passing the drug pricing reforms, David would save more than $14,000 per year beginning in 2024, plus savings on premiums. It would restrain prices and save money for hundreds of millions of Americans.
We have the votes in the Senate to pass comprehensive legislation to help all of these people. In fact, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is a key player in fashioning a reconciliation package and supports one that will reform taxes, fight climate change and lower prices of prescription drugs, including allowing Medicare to negotiate.
And voters, who are feeling the impact of inflation, are united in supporting these reforms. More than 4 out of 5 Americans agree that Medicare should have the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices. And 9 out of 10 voters agree that allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices is a top reason to pass the reconciliation bill.
There is a clear path forward to pass historic and comprehensive reforms that bring relief to all patients – including those dependent on insulin – and save
Susan Wild represents Pennsylvania’s 7th District and David Mitchell is founder of Patients for Affordable Drugs Now (P4ADNow).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following statement was issued by David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, following the House of Representatives’ passage of H.R. 6833, the Affordable Insulin Now Act:
“The House of Representatives today voted to once again pass legislation to cap copays for insulin. Last fall, Democrats in the House passed a historic drug pricing reform package that included copay caps for millions of people who take insulin, Medicare negotiations to lower the price of insulin and other expensive drugs, and limits on annual drug price increases to the rate of inflation. That package of reforms would deliver relief to all Americans.
“Now it is up to Democrats in the Senate to follow the House’s lead and pass comprehensive reforms through reconciliation. There are millions of patients who rely on expensive drugs who urgently need the reforms in the drug pricing package, including, most importantly, Medicare negotiation. There is a path forward in the Senate to pass the legislation through reconciliation. In order to deliver on their promises to all patients — including those who depend on insulin — the Senate must act urgently to approve the broad provisions already passed by the House. Americans overwhelmingly support these reforms — they must be the Senate’s number one priority on drug pricing policy upon returning from the upcoming recess.”