WASHINGTON, D.C. — The fight to lower drug prices can feel lopsided –– a recent poll found Americans believe drug corporations have the most influence in Washington. Yet, late last night, patients scored an important win in the fight against Big Pharma. Congress rejected Big Pharma’s attempt to use the opioid bill to give themselves a $4 billion bailout.
“Big Pharma lobbied aggressively –– and spent a lot of money –– in this brazen cash grab,” said Ben Wakana, Executive Director of Patients For Affordable Drugs NOW. “But patients and their allies stood up and said ‘enough.’ And Congress listened.”
Patients For Affordable Drugs NOW is proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with groups like the AARP, the American Hospital Association, and others who worked together to block the bailout. American patients will remain vigilant; we’re just getting started.”
Big Pharma tried to secure a $4 billion bailout….
“‘PhRMA is begging’ lawmakers to reverse that decision in unrelated opioids legislation, a GOP congressional aide said.” [Axios, 9/20/18]
“Pharmaceutical industry lobbyists were ‘livid’ when the February policy passed.” [STAT News, 3/8/18]
“The powerful pharmaceutical industry has been pushing for months to roll back a provision from February’s budget deal that shifted more costs onto drug companies. [The Hill, 9/20/18]
“Big Pharma is making a major push to reclaim $4 billion in Medicare Part D funds that Congress took away in the 2018 budget deal.” [Modern Healthcare, 9/20/18]
“Drugmakers had been aggressively lobbying lawmakers to reverse that policy as part of the opioids bill.” [Axios, 9/25/18]
“PhRMA has been trying to undo the provision since it passed. Now, the group has latched on to a multi-part bill to fight the opioid epidemic—which advocates say the industry created in the place—to roll back the discount to 63%.” [AJMC, 9/21/18]
Big Pharma lost…
“A concerted effort by patient-advocate groups successfully blocked the last-minute add that would have given drug companies a $4 billion windfall.” [The Washington Post, 9/26/18]
“Aside from opioid policy, drug companies also failed in an intense lobbying push to attach a provision to the bill easing their costs in Medicare.” [The Hill, 9/25/18]
“The brand drug industry came up empty-handed, failing to get a reduction in how much it pays for drugs in Medicare Part D’s coverage gap into the final bill.” [Politico, 9/26/18]
“…pharma lobbyists set to work after Congress increased the industry’s share of responsibility in the Medicare Part D coverage gap earlier this year. But the industry was rebuffed again when its effort to include a partial reversal in an opioid bill was rejected.” [FiercePharma, 9/26/18]
“patient advocates…persuaded Congress to reject attempts by PhRMA to use opioids legislation to reduce the drug industry’s costs for subsidizing the Part D Medicare program.” [BioCentury, 9/26/18]
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The drug corporations that fueled America’s opioid epidemic are trying to get a $4 billion bailout in the fast-moving opioid legislation. According to multiple news reports, Big Pharma is close to inserting language into the opioid package that would roll back drug companies’ share of costs in the Medicare donut hole from 70 percent to 63 percent. This would mean a massive bailout for Big Pharma and higher costs for patients.
Read all about it below:
POLITICO: “A last-minute effort by the drug industry to tuck favorable policy changes into legislation responding to the opioid crisis is meeting health industry resistance…”
AXIOS: “‘Sounds like the size of the fix for pharma could be maybe 2-3x bigger than the opioids funding,’ a House Democratic aide said.”
THE HILL: “Lawmakers are considering adding a provision easing costs on drug companies to an opioid package currently being negotiated. The powerful pharmaceutical industry has been pushing for months…”
STAT NEWS: “Republicans on Capitol Hill are attempting to use a bill to address the opioid crisis to deliver a major victory for the pharmaceutical industry.”
WASHINGTON EXAMINER: “The pharmaceutical lobby is mounting a last-ditch effort to add a measure to an opioid abuse bill that would block an increase to the portion of a drug’s cost the industry must cover under Medicare.”