Latest News | Nov 27, 2023

ICYMI: P4ADNow Advocates Speak Out – Share Personal Experiences With High Drug Prices, Highlight Big Pharma Abuses, and Celebrate Relief To Come from Medicare Negotiations

Wishing everyone a restful and restorative Thanksgiving break! Here’s a roundup featuring P4AD patient advocates at the virtual CMS Listening Sessions for the Medicare Negotiation Program 

Despite the presence of pharma talking points saturating the sessions, we want to express our deepest thanks to all P4AD patient advocates, whose stories illuminate the urgency and impact of Medicare negotiations. It’s undeniable that the success of the historic drug price reforms within the Inflation Reduction Act is due to the power and dedication of these patient advocates speaking out in direct opposition to pharma interests.

Have a great holiday! 


Welcome to the Week in Review.

1. Deflating Big Pharma Lies

 2.  Patients Need Competition To Lower Prices

 3.  Insulin Affordability Crisis

BONUS: P4AD’s David Mitchell was one of several co-authors on this new paper in Nature that examines the ways that universities and academic medical centers, which receive large amounts of funding from taxpayers, can better ensure medicines including novel gene therapies are priced to maximize public health and lessen the burden that high drug prices impose on patients and society.

Have a great weekend! 

Happy Veterans Day to our nation’s heroes and their families.
In the spirit of the Medicare negotiation listening sessions, a reminder that the Department of Veteran Affairs has been negotiating drug prices since 1993.

Welcome to the Week in Review.

1. CMS Listening Sessions Continue

 2.  Momentum To Curb Patent Abuses

BONUS: For our bilingual readers – shout out to our very own Jesse Aguirre for his op ed published in El Planeta yesterday in Spanish on how Patient stories have the potential to overturn the status quo of Big Pharma. Bravo!

Have a great weekend! 

On November 1st, Ady Barkan, co-founder of Be A Hero, widely-known advocate in the fight for health justice, and who got his start in health advocacy at UAEM, died of complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) at 39 years old. When he was diagnosed in 2016, Ady chose to leverage his own powerful patient story to persuade policymakers to prioritize people over profit. He will be sorely missed but his impact and legacy to help transform the US healthcare system will continue.

Welcome to the Week in Review.

1. P4ADNow Urges Senate Leadership To Pass Competition Bills

 2.  P4AD Patient Advocates At CMS Listening Sessions

3.  Medicare Negotiations Will Bring Relief To Patients

4.  On The Horizon: Sickle Cell Disease Gene Therapy

Have a great weekend! 

Organizations Representing Patients, Consumers, Seniors, Students, Churches, And Disease Advocacy Groups Push For Package Of Bills That Strengthens Market Forces To Lower Prices For All Americans  

Patients For Affordable Drugs Now and AARP, along with 60 other organizations sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urging them to pass bipartisan legislation to reform our patent and regulatory systems to curb unwarranted monopolies and promote competition to lower prescription drug prices for all Americans. 

“There is a real opportunity in the Senate to advance a package of bipartisan bills that will increase competition and market forces to lower drug prices,” said Merith Basey, executive director of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “Senators on both sides of the aisle have put in far too much work on these bills over several years to let this opportunity be lost. The moment is at hand to enact reforms that voters overwhelmingly support and which will help patients of all ages regardless of whether they get their health care in the private or public sector.” 

The letter to Senators Schumer and McConnell, and copied to every member of the Senate, supports a package of six bills — all bipartisan and all relying on competition and market forces to lower drug prices that complement reforms enacted last year under the Inflation Reduction Act. 

“For too long, big drug companies have gamed the system to prevent less expensive generic and biosimilar drugs from entering the market. America’s seniors deserve better,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer. “Now is the time for Congress to pass bipartisan common-sense legislation that will give consumers real choices and lower their drug prices.”

“Critically, almost four out of five voters support such reforms including 75 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of Independents, and 86 percent of Democrats,” the letter reads. “The bills will save taxpayers $2-3 billion over 10 years and lead to lower out-of-pocket costs for millions of Americans.”

Patients like Sue Lee, 81, of Crestwood, Kentucky will be helped by these bills. Sue lives with chronic plaque psoriasis and was forced to endure painful sores because she couldn’t afford the high monthly cost of Humira — which was protected by 165 patents — and had to stop taking the drug.

Read the full letter and list of signers here and below.


[November 1, 2023] 

Dear Senators,

Bipartisan bills to strengthen competition and market forces to lower prescription drug prices have cleared every key Senate committee on strong bipartisan votes, and the undersigned groups that represent patients and advocates urge that they be enacted into law. 

Critically, almost four out of five voters support such reforms including 75 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of Independents, and 86 percent of Democrats. The bills will save taxpayers $2-3 billion over 10 years and lead to lower out-of-pocket costs for millions of Americans. We ask you to advance the following bills now:

S. 142 to curb pay-for-delay deals in which brand name drug makers pay would-be generic and biosimilar competitors to keep them from bringing their products to market.
S. 150 to crack down on patent thickets and product-hopping, which are used to build a patent wall around existing brand name drugs and block lower-priced competition. 
S. 148 and S. 1067 to stop drug company abuse of citizen petitions before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which drug companies use to delay generic and biosimilar market entry.
S. 775 to improve the ability of the FDA to disclose information generic companies need for speedy approval.
S. 79 to establish a task force between the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and FDA in order to improve each agency’s patent-related activities.

The bipartisan bills now before the Senate would curb anti-competitive practices and ensure the will of Congress for generic and biosimilar competition and market forces to lower prices as intended to lower prices under the Hatch-Waxman framework. Recent academic studies have repeatedly shown the need for these reforms:

The bills will help people like Sue Lee, 81, of Crestwood, Kentucky who is living with plaque psoriasis and who was forced to endure painful sores because she couldn’t afford the $8,000 a month cost of Humira – which was protected by 165 patents – and had to forgo the drug.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates these bills will collectively save taxpayers between $2-3 billion dollars. They will result in lower out-of-pocket costs for patients and millions of people regardless of insurance status. 

With only 26 work days left in this calendar year, we urge the Senate to come together now and address these critical issues to improve the health and financial well-being of people all across the country. Thank you.

Cc: Members of the United States Senate


ACA Consumer Advocacy
Alliance for Retired Americans
American Family Voices 
Beta Cell Action 
Beta Cell Foundation 
Blue Shield of California 
Business Leaders for Health Care Transformation
Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy
Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing 
Center for Health and Democracy
Center for Medicare Advocacy
Citizen Action/Illinois 
Consumer Action 
Dana Investment Advisors 
Doctors for America
Families USA 
Foundation for Integrative AIDS Research
Generation Patient 
Health Care Voices 
Health GAP 
Housing Works, Inc 
Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility 
Just Care USA
Labor Campaign for Single Payer
Long Island Center for Independent Living, Inc
Lower Drug Prices Now
Medicare Rights Center 
Metro New York Health Care for All 
National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
National Multiple Sclerosis Society 
New York State Council of Churches 
New York StateWide Senior Action Council, Inc
Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment
Patients For Affordable Drugs Now
Pennsylvania Health Access Network
Physicians for a National Health Program – NY Metro Chapter
Prescription Justice 
Protect Our Care 
Public Citizen
Public Interest Patent Law Institute 
Rise Up WV
Salud y Fármacos 
Seventh Generation Interfaith 
Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth 
Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia 
Social Security Works
Socially Responsible Investment Coalition 
SPACEs In Action
T1International, USA
TAG-Texans Against Gerrymandering 
Tennessee Health Care Campaign, Inc 
Two Faces of MS 
Unity Fellowship of Christ Church – NYC 
Universities Allied for Essential Medicines
West Virginia Citizen Action Group
West Virginians for Affordable Health Care  


Welcome to the Week in Review.

1. A New Chapter For Patients On Medicare

 2.  Medicare Negotiations Are Crucial For Patients

3. Big Pharma Puts Profits Over Patients

BONUS PHOTO: Check out our long time P4AD patient advocates Sue, Lisa, Judy, and a shout-out to Pamela who met with their respective senators on Capitol Hill to share their experiences with high drug prices and what competition would represent to them! Way to go ladies!

Have a great weekend! 

Quick note to readers: This was Audrey’s last week (in review) at P4AD! She’s been honored to be in your inbox for the last couple years. We’ll be excited to announce P4AD’s incoming communications and media director very soon and we’ll see you here next week as usual. 

Welcome to the Week in Review.

1. Enrolling In Medicare? The Inflation Reduction Act Will Bring Savings

 2.  Patients Depend On Patent & Regulatory Reforms

3. Addressing Launch Prices Of Gene Therapies

PRICE GOUGING ALERT: This week we learned Pfizer plans to set the U.S. price for its COVID-19 antiviral treatment Paxlovid at nearly $1,400. That’s more than double what the government currently pays and far more than what it costs to make. Outrageous. 

Have a great weekend! 

Welcome to the Week in Review.

1.  Senators Celebrate Drug Price Reforms With Patients 

 2.  Medicare Negotiation: A Monumental Step For Patients

3. Momentum For Reforming Our Patent And Regulatory Systems

Have a great weekend!