The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently hosted a panel on prescription drug costs. It included just one patient voice, that of David Mitchell, the president and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs.
Luckily, following the November 8 event in Washington, DC, our community stepped up and added a chorus of voices in support of action to lower drug prices.
Read about a few takeaway moments at the panel, and see how you can still get your on-the-ground experience with rising drug prices into the official record. There’s still time to contribute!
1. “End the shenanigans”
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told pharma to “end the shenanigans” that block generic drug competition. The heads of the FDA and FTC agreed that getting generic drugs to market faster is a good way to increase competition that drives down prices. “Antitrust works best when it focuses its attention on harms to the competitive process and to the protection of consumer welfare,” said Acting FTC Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen.
P4AD created an online tool so you can help stop at least one of Big Pharma’s tactics. The CREATES Act, is 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.
2. It’s complicated. Or is it?
Industry representatives on the panel repeatedly spoke of the complicated nature of the drug supply chain. Those tenuous and opaque inner-workings simply couldn’t be manipulated to benefit the consumer, they tried to argue. Drug prices? Those are the other guy’s fault.
Cue the music.
David Mitchell called them out.
“The system is built to benefit from everyone making money off of it. The only people who pay are patients, consumers and taxpayers. One way or the other, we pay for everything. It’s just wrong.”
You may not have been at the Washington, DC hearing, but your stories arrived in the nation’s capital. P4AD’s advocacy tool allows you to tell your story and get it to the right place. So far, the FTC has received 150 comments encouraging the agency to use its anti-trust enforcement power to end drug company and pharmacy benefit manager abuses and help lower drug prices. You have until Dec. 8 to make your feelings known. Let the bigwigs know what life’s like at the end of the supply chain.