Finding Solutions

We are making real progress toward breaking the monopoly pricing power of the drug corporations and reforming the secret practices of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) who run prescription drug insurance programs.

We helped pass the Inflation Reduction Act despite vicious opposition from Big Pharma. It helps prevent price gouging of existing drugs on the market by limiting annual price increases to no more than the rate of inflation, caps annual out-of-pocket costs for Medicare Part D at $2,000 starting in 2025, and requires, for the first time, Medicare to negotiate on some of the costliest drugs, among other provisions. 

There’s still more to do to reform a system that is built to benefit the people who profit from it rather than the people it is supposed to serve. 

These are our priorities:

We must protect and ensure the effective implementation of the reforms in the Inflation Reduction Act–notably the ability for Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies for lower prices. The pharmaceutical industry is actively lobbying to weaken the law in Congress and in the courts seeking legal avenues to obstruct its implementation. We are actively involved in both arenas, opposing legislative efforts to undermine the Inflation Reduction Act and submitting amicus briefs to the courts to support its enforcement. Learn more about our legal strategy at We also strongly support the Biden Administration’s proposals to expand the law to extend lower prices and out-of-pocket costs to millions more people who get their health care in the private sector.

We need patent reforms so generic versions of drugs are available sooner to compete with brand names to lower prices. Patents and exclusivity protections on brand-name drugs extend too long. Then drug companies abuse the patent system to extend their exclusivity periods and prevent generic competition from coming to market. We must put an end to these abuses that hurt patients. We support bipartisan legislation in Congress to address these issues.

Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs)—the companies that operate prescription drug insurance programs—should operate on behalf of patients to provide the drugs they need at lower prices. Instead, they insist on negotiating secret deals, so we can’t see how much they are keeping and how much savings are reaching patients and consumers. We need an end to secret rebates and complete transparency from PBMs. 

We support the current extensive inquiry by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) into the practices of PBMs, which will provide both transparency and a foundation for possible legislation to ensure PBMs operate in the interests of patients and consumers. We support various bills in Congress to accomplish these goals, and we will build on the FTC’s current inquiry to advance other needed reforms.

We must address launch prices–especially for new cell and gene therapies.

The Inflation Reduction Act targets older drugs. But some of the highest prices are coming on new drugs — especially cell and gene therapies. We have to address launch prices, now regularly in the millions of dollars, to balance the need for fair profits while ensuring accessibility and affordability.

We must ensure drugs based on science paid for by taxpayers are priced to assure affordability and accessibility.

Taxpayers invested in the basic science behind all 356 drugs approved by the FDA from 2010-2019. We annually spend billions through the National Institutes of Health and when a drug shows promise, private companies swoop in to acquire the rights and then charge whatever the market will bear. We need to make sure taxpayer-funded drugs are priced to maximize public health — not private profits.

Further expanding and diversifying our community.

High drug prices contribute to the fact that Latinos and Black Americans use 10-40% fewer medications and have worse health outcomes than their White counterparts. Latinos and women disproportionately skip care and/or prescription medicines because they cannot afford them. We are taking steps to fix this by working to center individuals and communities that are most harmed by high drug prices and gradually expanding our organizing efforts in Spanish. 


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Patients For Affordable Drugs is the only independent national patient organization focused exclusively on achieving policy changes to lower the price of prescription drugs.