(Anchorage, AK) — Following reports of the sweeping legislation set to be unveiled by Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats to drastically lower prescription drug costs and hold insurance companies accountable, Protect Our Care Executive Director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:
“The landmark legislation Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats have crafted is the most sweeping and comprehensive reform of prescription drug prices in modern history. By lifting the ban on Medicare negotiations for lower drug prices and introducing the strongest-yet measures to hold big pharma accountable for the rigged system they’ve created, this plan would take on the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. Too many families are struggling to afford either rent or pills, but this plan would take on the drug companies and reduce drug prices for every American – those on Medicare and those who are not. President Trump and Republicans in Congress continue to be relentless defenders of the status quo – protectors of drug and insurance company profits. Republicans gave new, record-breaking tax breaks to the biggest drug companies and will now almost certainly try to block Medicare negotiations to lower prices for the American people.
“With this legislation, it’s clear that Speaker Pelosi and Democrats are taking seriously their commitment to ending the rigged system that keeps prices high, and their responsibility to ensure that no American goes broke trying to afford their prescriptions or access the care they need.”
Drug Prices In 2019 Surged Compared To The Year Before. With Hikes At 5 Times Inflation — “More Than 3,400 Drugs Have Boosted Their Prices In The First Six Months Of 2019.” “Price hikes on prescription drugs are surging in 2019, despite vows from the Trump administration to rein in pharmaceutical costs. So far in 2019, more than 3,400 drugs have boosted their prices, a 17% increase compared with the roughly 2,900 drug price increases at the same time in 2018, according to a new analysis by Rx Savings Solutions, a consultant to health plans and employers. The average price hike for those 3,400 drugs stands at 10.5%, or about 5 times the rate of inflation, the study found.” [CBS News, 7/1/19]
AARP Analysis Found Specialty Drug Prices Have Grown More Than Three Times Faster Than Inflation. “The prices of widely used specialty prescription drugs grew more than three times faster than general inflation in 2017…The new report found that the average annual price for a single specialty drug used on a chronic basis is now nearly $79,000, compared to $27,824 in 2006.” [AARP, 6/25/19]
Trump And His Republican Allies Continue To Block Medicare Negotiation For Lower Drug Prices. Even though 86 percent of Americans support allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries, Republicans refuse to allow Medicare to negotiate. A 2018 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Democratic Committee report found that Medicare Part D could save $2.8 billion in a single year if it were allowed to negotiate drug prices. Although it would decrease both federal spending and beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs, a policy allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries was recently blocked by Senate Republicans.