WASHINGTON, D.C. – Patients For Affordable Drugs, the nation’s only bipartisan patient organization focused exclusively on policies to lower drug prices, launched an interactive map featuring over 6,500 stories of patients who struggle under high drug prices. The interactive map tells heartbreaking stories of patients across America who skip doses, cut pills in half, and forgo medication altogether because it is too expensive.
Marlee Cooper of NJ wrote about her husband’s battle with high priced drugs which cost over $2,000 per month: “When he passed away, I had to claim bankruptcy because I had to use a lot of credit cards to pay for all of the debt. Prescriptions need to be more affordable.”
The map – which can be filtered by state, congressional district, disease, and zip code – serves as a reminder to politicians, academics, and health care experts that thousands of Americans suffer every day under a rigged system that hurts patients, consumers, and taxpayers.
“Thousands of patients tell us they sacrifice food, rent, and basic necessities because drugs are so expensive. This map captures the stories of only a small fraction of Americans hurt and outraged by drug prices,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and Founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs. “The map illustrates the growing urgency for lawmakers to bring much-needed relief to patients.”
Americans believe lowering prescription drug prices should be Congress’ top priority, according to polls by Harvard-Politico and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
One step Congress should take immediately is to pass the CREATES Act, a bipartisan bill that would lower drug prices and save taxpayers billions. The legislation prevents brand drug manufacturers from gaming our system and blocking cheaper generic drugs from coming to market. The bill enjoys support from a bipartisan group of senators including Patrick Leahy, Mike Lee, John McCain, Dianne Feinstein, and Chuck Grassley, among others. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the CREATES Act would save taxpayers $3.5 billion over the next decade.
Stories on the map were collected between February 22, 2017 and October 5, 2017. All stories were submitted to Patients For Affordable Drugs (P4AD) via an online story submission form or through Facebook. Patients For Affordable Drugs has read all 6,500 stories and eliminated any that contained explicit language. P4AD has not contacted each individual to verify the details of their story.
To maintain its independence, Patients For Affordable Drugs does not accept donations from organizations that profit from the development and distribution of prescription drugs.