WASHINGTON, DC – Patients For Affordable Drugs expressed its strong support for the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act, introduced today. The bill would allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices on behalf of patients and taxpayers.
“President Trump has called for the federal government to bargain over drug prices, and Mr. Cummings, Mr. Sanders, Mr. Doggett, and Mr. Welch offer an excellent framework,” said David Mitchell, President of Patients For Affordable Drugs and a Medicare beneficiary with incurable blood cancer. “Medicare negotiation is at the headwaters of solutions to lower drug prices for patients.”
Current law prohibits Medicare from directly negotiating drug prices. As a result, drug corporations charge whatever they want for lifesaving medicines that are often invented with taxpayer funding. The Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act would leverage the purchasing power of millions of Medicare beneficiaries while protecting the needs of patients to select drugs that work best for them in consultation with their doctor.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 92 percent of Americans, including a large majority of Republicans, support allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices on behalf of beneficiaries.
“This bill puts patients first by offering flexibility, protections, and workable solutions when Medicare’s preferred negotiated drugs are not right for an individual patient,” added Mitchell.
President Trump noted that drug companies are “getting away with murder” and “the problem is, we don’t negotiate – we’re the largest drug producer, and – we’re the largest drug buyer in the world. We don’t negotiate…If we negotiated the price of drugs…we’d save $300 billion a year.”
Patients For Affordable Drugs illustrated the problem with drug prices and the need to pass the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act with its latest Snapshot Report below.
It lists the 12 drugs with the highest median out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries compared with a drug company’s profits and CEO compensation. For example, a Medicare beneficiary on Revlimid pays $11,538 in median out-of-pocket costs every year while the drug maker, Celgene, makes $1.6 billion and their CEO is paid $8,073,500. Companies are putting profits over patients. The Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Act aims to restore balance on the side of patients.
Patients For Affordable Drugs is the nation’s only bipartisan patient organization focused exclusively on policies to lower prescription drug prices. It does not accept funding from any organizations that profit from the development or distribution of prescription drugs.