WASHINGTON, D.C. — Every month, Patients For Affordable Drugs highlights two Price Fighting Heroes taking action in the fight to lower prescription drug prices. This month, P4AD is pleased to recognize Patient Advocate Meg Jackson-Drage and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh for their courage and tenacity in standing up to Big Pharma.
Meg Jackson-Drage is a 50-year-old living in Magna, Utah with her husband. She was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and lives with neuropathic pain, both of which require costly medication. Meg was most recently prescribed Pfizer’s blockbuster drug, Lyrica, to treat the pain and symptoms of fibromyalgia. Meg found out it would cost her $550 out-of-pocket each month, even with a discount card and at just one-third of the dose her doctor recommended. Meg has used her experience to advocate for others, including testifying in her home state of Utah to support the importation of cheaper drugs from Canada.
Like Meg, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh understands that real reform takes relentless commitment and the courage to keep trying. In 2017, Maryland enacted a newlaw targeting generic drug makers’ price gouging of consumers. The law prohibited “unconscionable” price increases for generic drugs and gave the Maryland attorney general the power to order an explanation from the manufacturers behind significant price increase. Ultimately, the Supreme Court declined to review an appeal of the law by a lower court, but that has not stopped Frosh. He has teamed up with advocacy groups and is pushing legislation to establish a Prescription Drug Affordability Board, a statewide pricing initiative that will set payment levels for drugs.
Over the last few months, P4AD has honored FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, multiple sclerosis patient Victoria Stuessel, the former Administrator of CMS Andy Slavitt, metastatic breast cancer patient and advocate Becky Hall, Nevada State Senator Yvanna Cancela, T1International founder Elizabeth Rowley, Oregon State Senator Dennis Linthicum, dry eye patient and advocate Ann Neilson, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Crohn’s patient and advocate Leah Clark, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Ohio multiple myeloma patient and advocate Bob Fowler.
P4AD hopes to encourage Price Fighting Heroes to continue their good work and urge others to join the fight. We plan to feature our heroes on our social media accounts and honor them at an event in 2019. If you have someone you want to nominate as a hero, you can do so here.