Latest News | Feb 13, 2024

RELEASE: P4ADNow Launches TV Ads Exposing Congressman Don Davis’ Betrayal of Patients On Drug Pricing Promises

The Ads Tell Constituents That After Vowing “To Stand Up To Drug Companies,” Don Davis Is “the Lone Democrat Willing To Weaken Medicare’s Power To Negotiate Drug Prices”

Washington, D.C. – Patients For Affordable Drugs Now (P4ADNow) today began running a series of TV ads to inform constituents in Congressman Don Davis’ district (D-NC1) that he has reneged on his campaign promise regarding prescription drug pricing. Congressman Davis pledged he would “stand up to drug companies.” Instead, Davis has become the only Democrat in the House of Representatives to sponsor legislation that would undermine Medicare’s ability to negotiate lower drug prices, a wildly popular provision in the Inflation Reduction Act that is supported by more than 80 percent of voters and would lower drug prices for millions of people on Medicare. 

His betrayal of his promise to patients comes after he accepted tens of thousands of dollars from drug companies including Gilead, Astellas, Genentech, Bayer, Pfizer, Novo Nordisk, GSK, Bristol Myers Squibb, Amgen, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck, AbbVie, and Eli Lilly. 

“Voters overwhelmingly support Medicare negotiation to lower prescription drug prices,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now.  “The voters in Congressman Davis’s district need to know that he reneged on his campaign promise to stand up to drug companies and is sponsoring legislation that, if enacted, would weaken Medicare’s ability to negotiate and lead to higher prices for roughly 90 percent of the drugs Americans need. 

P4ADNow has heard from dozens of patients within Congressman Davis’s district who are struggling under the weight of high drug prices. One constituent revealed the heartbreaking reality of having to forego essential medications despite being insured, simply due to financial strain. Another shared the daily struggle of managing a chronic disease while grappling with the prohibitive cost of medications, often relying on the goodwill of friends for assistance. Additionally, a third constituent’s plea for affordable access to life-saving heart medications for her husband underscores the urgent need for Congressman Davis to honor his campaign promises and prioritize the well-being of his constituents over corporate interests. 

These personal stories serve as an important reminder of the human toll of high drug prices and the critical importance of Medicare negotiation to alleviate the burden for millions of Americans.

The ads–which can be viewed here and here–will be broadcast across local television and digital platforms starting February 13th. 

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CMS Takes On Big Pharma And Makes First Offers To Manufacturers Of The First Ten Drugs Selected For Drug Price Negotiation To Lower Prices For Prescription Drugs

Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, applauds the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as it takes the huge next step towards negotiating fair prices for essential medications. Today, CMS sent out its initial fair pricing offers to pharmaceutical manufacturers for the first 10 drugs selected for Medicare negotiations.
 
The 10 drugs chosen were identified as the top spending drugs covered under Medicare Part D without generic or biosimilar equivalents that have been on the market for at least seven years and also meet other selection criteria. These essential medications include cancer treatments, blood thinners, autoimmune disease treatments, and some diabetes drugs. Between June 2022 and May 2023, 8.3 million Medicare Part D enrollees used one or more of these medications. With 84 percent of voters backing Medicare negotiations, it’s clear CMS is doing work that is urgently demanded by the American public. 
 
Merith Basey, Executive Director of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, released the following statement:
 
“Patients For Affordable Drugs Now stands firmly in support of Medicare negotiation and efforts to curb the unjustified costs of prescription medications. We hear from patients everyday who are grappling with the crushing weight of exorbitant drug prices, forced to make impossible decisions between their health and financial well-being. We’ve listened to stories of people rationing insulin or other life-sustaining medications just to make ends meet. By advancing this process of direct negotiation with drug companies, CMS is helping ensure that fewer people will have to make these tough choices. Drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them, and today marks a historic milestone in the fight to lower drug prices for everyone.”

Background in Medicare negotiations:

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On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration cleared the way for Florida to become the first state in the country to import prescription drugs from Canada. The following statement was issued by Merith Basey, executive director of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now in response to the decision: 

“The FDA’s approval today of Florida’s plan to import cheaper prescription drugs is yet another reflection of the fact that drug prices in the U.S. are simply too high and Americans need relief. Unfortunately, state-by-state importation from Canada is not a workable solution for all of us who need lower prices. Canada can’t supply all our drug needs and the pharmaceutical industry won’t ship Canada enough drugs to turn around and send them to the U.S. The Canadian government is not going to send drugs to the U.S. if it creates shortages in Canada. We need workable federal solutions that will lower prices for everyone in the U.S. like expanded Medicare negotiation and reforms to stop drug company abuse of our patent system that blocks competition and keeps prices high for all of us. The Inflation Reduction Act was a historic start but there is more work to do. There are bipartisan bills in Congress right now that would move us forward and enjoy overwhelming public support.”

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Patients Thank Senator Schumer For Leading Historic Reforms To Lower Drug Prices And Push For Bills To Curb Anti-Competitive Practices And Boost Generic Competition

NEW YORK — Over 100 patients from New York who depend on essential, high-priced medications sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer thanking him for his work to lower drug prices and urging him to continue his efforts to make medicines more affordable by including legislation that would curb patent abuse and increase competition in a January health care package.
 
The letter to Senator Schumer endorses a package of bipartisan bills, which, having received committee approval, address the anti-competitive tactics employed by drug companies to delay the entry of generic competition necessary to reduce drug prices. These legislative reforms are anticipated to substantially decrease prices and out-of-pocket expenses for millions of patients and result in significant savings for taxpayers.
 
“We stand in support of the bipartisan bills aimed at curbing these anti-competitive practices,” the letter reads. “We know that you and Senators on both sides of the aisle have been working to advance these measures. It’s critical that we take action now to improve competition and address the loopholes exploited by Big Pharma. Doing so will lead to lower out-of-pocket costs for millions of people and substantial savings for taxpayers.’
 
The bills included are: 


“As your constituents in New York, we are committed to supporting your efforts to make progress on these critical bills,” the letter continues. “We laud your dedication to this cause and we are eager to see you build on the work you’ve already achieved to ensure these bipartisan bills are enacted to further lower prescription drug prices for patients nationwide.”
 
Read the full letter and list of signers here and below. 
 
——– 
 
Senator Chuck Schumer
Majority Leader
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
 
Dear Senator Schumer,
 
As patients from New York who rely on expensive medications to treat our illnesses or conditions we are particularly impacted by the high price of prescription drugs. We are writing to express our gratitude for your tireless efforts in championing vital prescription drug reforms to make medications more accessible and affordable for all.
 
The Inflation Reduction Act was instrumental in securing historic reforms such as drug price negotiation under Medicare, an out-of-pocket cap in Medicare Part D, and inflation-based rebates for drugs in Medicare Part B and D. These initiatives will significantly alleviate the burden of high prescription drug costs for many of us in our community and millions across the country. The actions you’ve taken are positively impacting the lives of seniors, people with disabilities, and many others relying on Medicare for essential medications.
 
Despite all that progress, we recognize that you are well aware that more work is needed to ensure continued progress to combat exorbitant prescription drug prices. As you know, Big Pharma uses anti-competitive practices, like patent thickets, product hopping, and pay-for-delay arrangements, to hinder the entry of generic and biosimilar medications into the market, obstructing market competition that would reduce drug prices for patients across the country.
 
We stand in support of the bipartisan bills aimed at curbing these anti-competitive practices. We know that you and Senators on both sides of the aisle have been working to advance these measures. It’s critical that we take action now to improve competition and address the loopholes exploited by Big Pharma. Doing so will lead to lower out-of-pocket costs for millions of people and substantial savings for taxpayers.
 
As your constituents in New York, we are committed to supporting your efforts to make progress on these critical bills. We laud your dedication to this cause and we are eager to see you build on the work you’ve already achieved to ensure these bipartisan bills are enacted to further lower prescription drug prices for patients nationwide.
 
Thank you for your unwavering commitment to lower drug prices for all Americans. We stand with you and eagerly anticipate this package of crucial bills being brought to the floor so we can enhance competition for prescription drugs and reduce costs for patients.
 
Sincerely,
 
[Patient Signatures]
 

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Vote Sets Stage For Negotiation On Bipartisan Bills Promoting Competition Making Their Way Through The Senate

The following statement was issued by Merith Basey, executive director of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, after the House of Representatives passed the “Lower Costs, More Transparency Act”: 

“The House’s decisive bipartisan action tonight in passing the “Lower Costs, More Transparency Act” including measures to increase transparency and further tackle high drug prices by improving the generic drug approval process, is highly encouraging and moves the Congress in the right direction. This development boosts the momentum for the Senate leadership to move forward with a comprehensive health care package, encompassing bills aimed at lowering drug prices by addressing patent abuses and other anti-competitive tactics employed by drug companies to delay generic and biosimilar competition. This action helps to pave the way for a bipartisan end of year package that can lower prescription drug prices for everyone.”

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following statement was issued by Merith Basey, executive director of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, following the announcement by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that all of the drug companies making the 10 drugs selected for the first round of negotiations have agreed to enter negotiations with Medicare: 

“On behalf of patients across the country, we are very pleased to see all of the drug companies manufacturing the ten selected drugs have agreed to enter negotiations with Medicare. This marks an important milestone in our movement – for the first time ever, Medicare will now officially be in the process of negotiating lower prices for essential and costly medications taken by millions of people in this country including cancer treatments, blood thinners, autoimmune disease treatments, and some diabetes drugs. 

“People in the United States overwhelmingly support this law, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure the Inflation Reduction Act is implemented in the best interest of patients, despite opposition from drug companies. 

“These first 10 drugs are just the beginning – we will continue pushing on all fronts to lower drug prices for everyone.”

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Background:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following statement was issued today by David Mitchell, cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, in response to the decision in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio Western Division denying the Chamber of Commerce request for a temporary injunction to stop Medicare from negotiating lower prices for prescription drugs: 

“Today’s court ruling is an important victory for patients and all Americans, and demonstrates the weakness of the industry’s objections to Medicare negotiation to lower prescription drug prices under the Inflation Reduction Act. This is the first decision in the eight challenges that have been filed against the new law, and it sends a strong signal that drug companies and their trade associations will not prevail. Rather, the will of Americans expressed through the Congress will carry the day when all the legal arguments have been heard.”

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P4ADNow Launches Push In Wyoming, Calling Out Senator Lummis For Standing With Big Pharma To Actually Raise Drug Prices

WYOMING — Patients are pushing back hard on Senator Cynthia Lummis’ recent effort to force them to pay more for their prescriptions. Senator Lummis is cosponsoring the so-called Protect Drug Innovation Act, which aims to reverse the life-changing drug price reforms recently passed into law in the Inflation Reduction Act. The bill would repeal reforms patients fought for years to achieve. It would block Medicare from negotiating lower prices, remove caps on annual price increases which are now limited to the rate of inflation, and raise out-of-pocket costs for millions of Medicare beneficiaries. In response, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now is mobilizing patients and launching digital ads in Wyoming to send a clear message to Senator Lummis: Don’t raise our drug prices.

“Senator Lummis is putting Big Pharma ahead of patients, seeking to reverse provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act that will lower costs for thousands of Wyoming patients and which are supported by almost 80 percent of Americans, including seven out of 10 Republicans,” said David Mitchell, cancer patient and founder and president of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “Patients worked too hard to pass these reforms to lower drug prices; we will not stand still while pro-pharma senators like Senator Cynthia Lummis try to undo it – we will fight back.”

The senators gave the bill the intentionally misleading name of the “Protect Drug Innovation Act,” falling back on Big Pharma’s discredited chestnut that anything to lower prices will stymie innovation. In the wake of the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, investment in biotech stocks rose and a major drug company CEO said his company will do fine under its provisions.

P4ADNow’s campaign includes digital static ads as well as grassroots advocacy, where patients tell Senator Lummis to stand with patients, not Big Pharma.

See ad examples below:

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In addition to Wyoming, P4ADNow will also be running ads in Oklahoma, Utah, and Florida where Senators Lankford, Lee, and Rubio also sponsored the bill.

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Patients For Affordable Drugs Now is an independent, bipartisan patient organization focused on policies to lower drug prices. P4ADNow does not accept funding from any organizations that profit from the development or distribution of prescription drugs.