Patient Advocates Launch $1 Million Campaign To Lower Medicare Part B Drug Prices

WASHINGTON D.C. — Patients For Affordable Drugs Now launched a nearly $1 million campaign in support of the Department of Health and Human Services’ proposal to lower drug prices in Medicare Part B. Under the proposal, Medicare would pay only 26 percent more than other wealthy countries for drugs administered by physicians or in hospital settings — that’s compared to the 80 percent more it pays today. But Big Pharma is attacking the proposal because the changes could actually rein in outrageous drug prices. Patients For Affordable Drugs Now’s campaign will include digital advertisements, patient fly-ins, polling, and videos featuring patients who stand to access more affordable drugs under the proposal.
 
“American patients pay far more than people in other countries for prescription drugs, and it’s just plain wrong,” said David Mitchell, a cancer patient and the founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now. “Out-of-control drug prices force hard working Americans to choose between groceries and their medications. HHS has a promising plan to use an International Pricing Index to bring U.S. drug prices more in line with drug prices in other wealthy countries. We’re standing up in support of this change because America’s prescription drug pricing system is broken, and patients need change now.”

The nationwide ads on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google will urge Americans to contact their senators and representatives in support of the HHS Part B demonstration (examples below).

According to a recent poll, voters support the HHS proposal to lower drug prices by a
71-point margin (80 percent support vs. 9 percent oppose). Majorities from both parties agree that Democrats and Republicans in Congress should support the proposal.
 
Importantly, Americans find Big Pharma’s claim that the proposed reforms would hinder patient access to be wrong. Eight in 10 voters believe the proposal will result in better careor have no impact on the care they receive. That’s bolstered by the fact that nine out of 10 big pharmaceutical companies actually spend more on advertising and marketing than on research and development, according to the Washington Post. There is no evidence the proposed Part B changes would impact patient access to drugs unless drug corporations withhold drugs from patients.
 
Patients For Affordable Drugs Now recently released a petition signed by more than 1,500 patient advocates urging the administration to move forward with the proposal to lower drug prices in Medicare Part B. The letter was accompanied by a video featuring Ruth Rinehart, a patient with primary immune deficiency from Florida, and Mike Gaffney, a resident of Washington State who lives with a rare form of multiple myeloma called POEMS syndrome. In the video, the patients speak directly about what the Part B changes would mean for them.

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