Latest News | Apr 12, 2024

This Week in Prescription Drug Pricing: Facts VS Pharma Fear Mongering and Becerra’s National Latino Health Tour

Welcome to the Week in Review.

1. Facts VS Pharma Fear Mongering

2. Becerra’s National Latino Health Tour

BONUS: Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy (CAR-T), a groundbreaking type of cancer immunotherapy, is currently priced upwards of $350,000 for patients in the U.S. Last month, Fiocruz, a research foundation, and Caring Cross, a nonprofit working to develop advanced medicines, announced local efforts in Brazil to produce CAR-T treatments. The cost? Likely one tenth of the U.S. price, at around $35,000 per dose. Given the many cell and gene therapies in the pipeline here in the United States, it’s imperative that we find a way to tackle launch prices so that people who need these revolutionary drugs can access them at prices they can afford. 

Welcome to the Week in Review.

1. Patient Advocate Introduces POTUS

Kris Garcia following the event focused on lowering inhaler costs at The White House

2. P4AD Launches New Tool to Defend Medicare Negotiations

3. Lowering Drug Costs For Women

PHARMA FACT CHECK: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) remains in negotiation with manufacturers of the initial 10 drugs selected for negotiations, having rejected their latest counter offers. Contrary to the assertions of Big Pharma and its allies that Medicare negotiation constitutes “price-setting,” recent actions by both drug companies and CMS, involving offers and counteroffers, debunk this narrative and underscore a genuine negotiation process.

Welcome to the Week in Review.

1. Curbing Drug Price Hikes

2. Cracking Down On Inhaler Patents 

3. Big Pharma’s Big Bag

BONUS: According to a new study published in JAMA, blockbuster diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss drug, Ozempic, could be manufactured for less than $5 monthly, and still be profitable, despite carrying a monthly list price of nearly $1,000. We urgently need legislative action to rein in these exorbitant prices. Drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them. 

Follow our social channels for an exciting announcement next week in our ongoing fight against Big Pharma and efforts to defend the hard-fought reforms already lowering drug prices!

Have a great weekend!

Welcome to the Week in Review.

1. Big Pharma Caught In Contradiction

2. The Growing Impact Of The Inflation Reduction Act 

3. The Power of Public Pressure

PRICE WATCH: Lenmeldy, a new life-saving gene therapy for the genetic disorder metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) will be the most expensive drug in the world at $4.25 million. Innovation is worthless if patients can’t afford it — we urgently need to address the high launch prices of transformative cell and gene therapies coming to market.   

Have a great weekend!

Welcome to the Week in Review.

1. Biden Promises to Expand The Inflation Reduction Act

2. Exposing Big Pharma Lies

3. Medicare Negotiation Puts Patients Over Profit

BONUS: A new study from Bentley University shows that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invested $11.7 billion on research leading to the approval of the first 10 drugs up for Medicare negotiation. Lower negotiated drug prices will help ensure patients and taxpayers get a better deal on these widely-used, high-cost medications. We deserve a fair return on the drugs taxpayers paid to invent!

Have a great weekend!

Welcome to the Week in Review.

1. Biden Promises to Expand The Inflation Reduction Act

In a week marked by significant developments in the fight to make medicine more affordable, Patients For Affordable Drugs Now (P4ADNow) applauded President Biden’s ongoing commitment to reducing drug prices for patients nationwide. The Biden Administration’s proposals to expand Medicare negotiation to 500 drugs over a decade and extend cost-saving measures to millions of people on private insurance, among other reforms, signals a potentially monumental step toward achieving affordable drugs for every American. Furthermore, President Biden’s State of the Union address underscored the historic achievements of the Inflation Reduction Act for patients and highlighted the proposals he had announced on the eve of the address. P4ADNow patient advocate, Steven Hadfieldemphasized the impact of the reforms, sharing his personal experience and the relief he has felt thanks to capped monthly insulin costs and expressed hope for further relief brought by Medicare negotiation. His presence as a guest of First Lady Jill Biden during the State of the Union exemplifies the urgency and importance of lowering drug prices for millions of Americans. P4ADNow continues to advocate for the implementation of the new drug price law and bipartisan bills in Congress that help address the challenges faced by patients like Steven. We know the momentum and public pressure to reduce drug prices are stronger than ever. – (P4ADNowP4ADNowSTAT NewsPharma PhorumP4ADAARPNPRNew York TimesYahoo NewsP4ADNow

A quick selfie with P4AD patient advocate, Steven Hadfield, before he joined First Lady Jill Biden for the SOTU

2. Legal Battles Over Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Heat Up

On Thursday, a federal district judge in New Jersey heard oral arguments in four of several cases challenging Medicare’s authority to negotiate drug prices. In a courtroom exchange that captured attention, Judge Zahid Quraishi probed the industry’s arguments and questioned the purported financial burdens Medicare negotiation would have on drugmakers, injecting a note of skepticism by remarking, “A lot of people would say pharmaceutical companies could give up an arm. They have a lot of appendages.” This observation reinforced the judge’s scrutiny of the industry’s claims. Rachel Cohrs of STAT News highlighted the judge’s remarks that these big drug companies were “businesses with the goal of profit… These companies are not Mother Teresa developing drugs for free for the American public.” A P4AD patient advocate was also in the room representing patients and listening to the arguments, which came just days after a federal judge in Delaware issued a sweeping ruling against pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca in a case brought by the drug company seeking to overturn Medicare negotiation. Last month, a federal district judge in Texas dismissed a similar lawsuit from the industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), and in September a District Judge in Ohio ruled against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s case. That’s three times that a judge has ruled against pharma and for patients of the United States, and as this headline from Fast Company puts it, “Big Pharma is losing its fight to avoid prescription-drug-price negotiations”. – (P4ADSTAT NewsBioSpaceEndpoints NewsGeorgetown LawReutersFastCompany)

3. Boehringer Ingelheim Caps Inhaler Costs Amid Public Pressure

In a move spurred by mounting public pressure and widespread demand for lower drug prices, Boehringer Ingelheim has announced plans to cap out-of-pocket costs for its inhaler products at $35 per month starting June 1. The decision comes amidst growing criticism, notably from Senator Bernie Sanders, who, in his role as chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) launched an investigation into efforts by pharmaceutical companies to manipulate the price of asthma inhalers. These big drug companies have heard widespread complaints from American patients and consumers about the inability to afford their inhalers, especially considering they are drastically cheaper in other countries. This move draws parallels to actions taken by insulin manufacturers, including Sanofi, Novo Nordisk, and Eli Lilly, all of whom lowered the price on some of their older insulins after years of criticism over pricing practices. These developments help underscore the power of grassroots advocacy in driving industry reforms. While welcomed by many patients, Boehringer Ingelheim’s action demonstrates the ongoing need for sustained efforts to guarantee access to essential medications for all patients. – (ReutersSTAT NewsThe LancetThe HillFiercePharmaP4AD

Welcome to the Week in Review.

1. Court Deals Major Blow to AstraZeneca

2. Legislators Oppose Efforts To Undermine The Inflation Reduction Act

3. The High Cost Of Insulin

A new study published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice highlights the escalating financial burden faced by people managing diabetes. Researchers found that from 2009 to 2018, total costs associated with diabetes care increased, with people living with type 1 diabetes experiencing the most substantial rise in out-of-pocket expenses. “Studies show that the more a patient pays out-of-pocket, the less likely they are to stick with their medication long term, which poses a serious risk to their health,” said lead author Evan Reynolds.​​ Fortunately, the $35 monthly insulin copay cap for patients on Medicare in the Inflation Reduction Act has brought significant savings for patients. But, there’s more to be done to ensure everyone can access their insulin at prices they can afford. — (University of MichiganKFF

BONUS: new report from Protect Our Care found that in 2023, 16 of the largest drug companies reported a whopping $684 billion in earnings — ”a figure that is higher than the gross domestic product (GDP) of 88 percent of the countries in the world.” Remind us again how drug companies are hurting from the new drug pricing reforms?

Welcome to the Week in Review.

1. “The Inflation Reduction Act is a great, wonderful thing”

2. High Cost Of Cell And Gene Therapies

BONUS: On March 7th from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., combined oral arguments will be heard in New Jersey for all four lawsuits aimed at stopping Medicare negotiations —filed by Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), Novo Nordisk, Novartis, and Johnson & Johnson (J&J). These four companies each have a drug up for negotiation: Eliquis (BMS), Entresto (Novartis), Novolog (Novo Nordisk), and Imbruvica (J&J). While Big Pharma fights tooth and nail to undermine the widely supported provision in the Inflation Reduction Act, we’re advocating alongside patients for the successful implementation of the law that will deliver long-sought relief from high prices.