FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 26, 2018
Seattle, WA — Patients for Affordable Drugs (P4AD) brought together nearly a dozen Washingtonians Saturday for a training in Seattle focused on how to effectively organize, mobilize, and fight for lower drug prices at the state level. P4AD, a bipartisan national patient organization, has heard stories from more than 450 Washington residents struggling to afford their prescription drugs. To help empower patients to tell these stories and fight for real policy change, P4AD organized an in-person training to give local residents tools and tactics to amplify their experiences and connect them with elected officials.
“The patients we met in Seattle are ready to mobilize for action that will lower their prescription drug prices,” said Carlo Makarechi, Deputy Campaigns Director for Patients For Affordable Drugs. “I left inspired and excited to see what this wonderful group of patient advocates will do next.”
Patients traveled from across the state to join Saturday’s training, the second in a nationwide series hosted by Patients for Affordable Drugs. Among those in attendance was Carolyn Wilson, a retired radiology instructor whose experience with high drug prices has become personal.
“I’d watch patients come in with swollen arms and legs due to not taking their insulin,” she said. “Now, I’m scared that will happen to me. I haven’t taken insulin in over a month because of the cost of the drug.”
As part of the campaign to encourage officials in Washington to enact policies that lower drug prices, P4AD will:
- Give residents tools to contact their legislators to fight for this policy change.
- Promote policies on social media.
- Lift up stories of Washington residents struggling under high drug prices.
Millions of Americans routinely choose not to fill prescriptions or skip doses to save money, according to a report from the National Center for Health Statistics. According to a study in The Oncologist, one in four cancer patients choose not to fill a prescription due to the prohibitive price, and one-fifth take less than the prescribed amount or fill a partial prescriptions. Kaiser Health News pointed out recently that 1.6 million Americans were likely to be diagnosed with cancer in 2017. That means anywhere from 168,000 to 405,000 will ration their drug use.