NEVADA— Patients For Affordable Drugs Now kicks off a campaign today thanking Reps. Susie Lee (NV-03) and Steven Horsford (NV-04) for supporting H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, a package of drug pricing reforms that includes allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prices for Nevadans. The campaign includes digital ads as well as grassroots advocacy, in which constituents will contact Reps. Lee and Horsford to thank them for fighting for patients. The campaign comes after Big Pharma launched a campaign loaded with lies, pressuring the representatives not to support H.R. 3.
“Big Pharma is trying to get Reps. Lee and Horsford to bow to its power with lies and fear-mongering. But they are standing strong to win reforms that will lower the outrageous prices of prescription drugs,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “Thanks to Reps. Lee and Horsford’s leadership, we can pass H.R. 3 to ensure we get affordable medicines we need now and innovation for the future.”
The campaign launches with an ad highlighting patient advocate Marcus LaCour, who lives with type 1 diabetes. The ad will run on digital platforms in Nevada’s fourth district.
You can watch the ad in NV-04 here.
“I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 15 years old. Because insulin is so expensive, I’ve had to skip and ration my doses. My wife has had to skip meals so that we could afford the insulin that I needed to survive,” LaCour, a Cincinnati husband, father, minister, and drug affordability advocate says in the video ad. “No family should have to make that decision. For millions of Americans, it’s serious enough that we need help.”
Digital ads will run in NV-03 thanking Rep. Lee for supporting Medicare negotiation.
H.R. 3 was recently reintroduced in the House of Representatives. The chamber passed the bill in the 116th Congress. H.R. 3 is a comprehensive bill that will lower prices, rein in price gouging, and reduce out-of-pocket costs by restoring balance to the U.S. drug pricing system to ensure both innovation and affordability.
The Nevada campaign is part of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now’s seven-figure national campaign launching in 42 House districts across 22 states and in D.C.
My name is Tammy L. de la Cruz and I live in North Las Vegas, Nevada. I live with a rare autoimmune disorder, and to treat my condition, every week I receive Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG) treatment. I would become paralyzed without this treatment, which terrifies me.
When I first began IVIG treatment I was covered by Medicaid, so the treatment came at no cost to me. I later switched to marketplace insurance when I started receiving SSDI benefits. The cost under my new insurance increased to about $30 every three weeks when I would go to the doctors for my treatment.
In August of 2018, I began receiving Medicare benefits. I distinctly remember going for my first IVIG treatment after switching to Medicare. When I heard that the copay would be $1,491, I couldn’t believe it. That single copay would cost more than my monthly SSDI benefits. At the time I was going every three weeks for IVIG treatment, but quickly increased to once a week as my doctor suggested.
If the agency I went through to receive my treatments didn’t provide a grant to cover the cost, I simply wouldn’t be able to afford treatment. When Medicare didn’t cover the cost of my medication, I began to give up hope, thinking about what would happen without these life-changing treatments.
During that time, before I found my grant, I thought a lot about what I would lose without my treatment. I have eight grandkids and love helping them out. I volunteer with my local food pantry and with a social service agency that serves those that have intellectual and developmental disabilities. In addition, I enjoyed watching the Special Olympics and even volunteered a few times. I love coloring, reading, and up until a few months ago I attended college full time –– and thanks to my IVIG treatments, I was able to walk across the stage to get my BS in Psychology. Not being able to afford my treatment would have made these enjoyable hobbies more difficult, if not impossible, for me.
I found a grant at the 11th hour, saving myself from paralysis. I know the future of this grant funding is not guaranteed. People with illness shouldn’t have to work so hard to fund extreme drug costs; it’s cruel.
Patients like me shouldn’t have to rely on grants to cover the cost of our treatments. We shouldn’t have to deal with the uncertainty of constantly changing costs and the concerns of what will happen if we lose access to our grant and therefore our prescriptions. No one should have to experience the feeling of hopelessness I felt when I thought I wouldn’t be able to afford the treatment I needed. It doesn’t have to be like this. We need changes to our system that make prescription drugs more affordable.