STATEMENT: Patients Deserve Greater Urgency on Drug Pricing

WASHINGTON, DC — In response to a hearing today in the Energy and Commerce health subcommittee on a package of bills to lower drug prices, Ben Wakana, Executive Director of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, issued the following statement:
 
“American patients are standing inside a burning house, and Congress needs to pick up the firehose. Today’s hearing was a step toward ending some of the most egregious practices by drug corporations, but the drug pricing crisis requires greater urgency and additional solutions from our nation’s leaders. Patients cannot wait any longer.”
 
BACKGROUND

  • Nearly eight in 10 Americans (79 percent) say the cost of prescription drugs is “unreasonable.” The public sees profits made by pharmaceutical companies as the most significant factor contributing to the price of prescription drugs. At least eight in ten – across party identification – say profits made by pharmaceutical companies are a “major factor” in the price of prescription drugs. — (Kaiser Family Foundation)

  • One in four adults (24 percent) say it is difficult to afford their prescription drugs. Nearly one in three adults (29 percent) report not taking their medicines as prescribed at some point in the past year because of the cost. One in five (19 percent of total) report that they haven’t filled a prescription or took an over-the counter drug instead (18 percent of total), and more than one in ten (12 percent) say they have cut pills in half or skipped a dose because of cost. — (Kaiser Family Foundation)

  • More than eight in 10 Americans (86 percent) support allowing the federal government to negotiate with drug companies to get a lower price on medications for people with Medicare. This approach is favored by large majorities of Democrats (90 percent), independents (87 percent), and Republicans (80 percent). — (Kaiser Family Foundation)

  • The CREATES Act would address delay tactics that are used by brand drug manufacturers to block lower-priced generic drugs. The U.S. could save $3.9 billion by stopping this abuse, which the FDA has called “unfair and exploitative.” — (Center for Biosimilars)

  • According to an FTC study, anticompetitive pay-for-delay deals cost consumers and taxpayers $3.5 billion in higher drug costs every year. Since 2001, the FTC has filed a number of lawsuits to stop these deals, and it supports legislation to end such pay-for-delay settlements. — (FTC)