WASHINGTON, D.C. — Patients For Affordable Drugs Now today launched an ad thanking Rep. Susan Wild (PA-07) for being a champion in the fight for lower drug prices and for her vote to pass the Build Back Better Act. The ad features a cancer patient named Jackie, whose cancer medication, Revlimid, is priced at over $20,000 every month.
“Millions of people like me are struggling. It’s time for our leaders to lead,” Jackie says in the ad.
The ad responds to Rep. Wild’s vote in favor of the Build Back Better Act, which passed the House of Representatives on Nov. 19. Rep. Wild has been a leader in pushing for meaningful drug price reforms to be included in the Build Back Better Act. Following the release of the White House’s Build Back Better framework, which did not include any drug price reforms, she signed a lettercalling for the inclusion of reforms as an essential element in the legislation. Earlier this year, Rep. Wild led another letter calling on President Biden to include drug pricing in the reconciliation package.
“On behalf of patients, we thank Rep. Wild for fighting to ensure the inclusion of meaningful drug price reforms in the Build Back Better Act,” 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. “Her steadfast support for the drug price provisions in the Build Back Better Act was a key factor in the House passage of the bill that finally allows Medicare to negotiate lower prices. Ninety percent of voters support Medicare negotiation, and the reforms in Build Back Better will help millions of Americans.”
The ad will run as the Senate moves to take up the Build Back Better Act in December. The Build Back Better Act will, for the first time, authorize Medicare to negotiate prices directly for some of the most expensive prescription medicines, including insulin; institute a hard cap on out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries; and limit annual price increases to stop price gouging by drug corporations.
“Congresswoman Wild just voted to pass the Build Back Better Act, which for the first time lets Medicare negotiate lower drug prices for Pennsylvanians,” the ad running on digital platforms says. “She stood up to Big Pharma attacks and did the right thing for patients. Tell Representative Wild: Thank you for voting to lower drug prices for millions of Americans.”
Watch the ad here.
Full transcript of the ad below:
JACKIE: This is a four-week supply of my chemotherapy. It’s 20 pills, and it’s $20,000 every single month. Millions of people like me are struggling. It’s time for our leaders to lead.
VO: Congresswoman Wild just voted to pass the Build Back Better Act, which for the first time lets Medicare negotiate lower drug prices for Pennsylvanians. She stood up to Big Pharma attacks and did the right thing for patients. Tell Representative Wild: Thank you for voting to lower drug prices for millions of Americans.
PENNSYLVANIA— Patients For Affordable Drugs Now kicks off a campaign today thanking Reps. Susan Wild (PA-07), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), and Conor Lamb (PA-17) 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 Pennsylvanians. The campaign includes digital ads as well as grassroots advocacy, in which constituents will contact Reps. Wild, Cartwright, and Lamb 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. Wild, Cartwright, and Lamb 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. Wild, Cartwright, and Lamb’s leadership, we can pass H.R. 3 to ensure we get affordable medicines we need now and innovation for the future.”
The campaign features ads highlighting patient advocate Marcus LaCour, who lives with type 1 diabetes. The ads will run on digital platforms in districts PA-07, PA-08, and PA-17.
You can watch the ad in PA-07 here.
You can watch the ad in PA-08 here.
You can watch the ad in PA-17 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.”
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 Pennsylvania 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 Ken and I’m from Gibsonia, PA. I live with an incurable blood cancer called multiple myeloma, as well as atrial fibrillation and a number of other health conditions.
Thankfully, my multiple myeloma is in remission so I am not currently taking Revlimid, a popular but expensive treatment. But I used to pay about $1,100 out-of-pocket every month for it while my insurance was billed another $8,000. I’m not eligible for the drug company’s patient assistance programs, so if I relapse and need to get back on Revlimid, I’ll be facing about $16,000 in out-of-pocket payments next year.
Even in remission for my cancer, I still find myself in the Medicare donut hole. I’m not getting assistance for the other medications I take, and my drug and other health care costs are piling up quickly. Just one drug I need, Eliquis, costs me $328 for a 90-day supply, and I spend about $150 every three months for several eye drops that help treat my glaucoma. I’ve also spent about $15,000 on hearing aids. Looking further down the road, I will probably need a pacemaker as well.
I worked as a teacher of computer technology for 38 years, so I have a guaranteed pension and have been able to make my payments so far. However, these exorbitantly high drug prices have forced me to make some difficult choices. I had to sell one of my cars and take out a home equity loan in order to pay for my medications. I also cut back where I can on everyday necessities, like phone and internet services.
The average person can’t afford prices like this, especially those living on a fixed income. There’s only so much money to go around, and I live with the possibility that I may one day not be able to access all the drugs I need due to these high prices. But I try not to think about that because it really wears on my mind. All I can do right now is take things day by day.
Drug companies keep playing with the numbers and finding ways to make more money any way they can. It seems like they keep increasing their prices in anticipation of the implementation of minor cost-cutting measures. I hear lawmakers say they want to help Americans with prescription drug costs, but I need to see them work on legislation that meaningfully lowers drug prices for all of us. We need help now.