SACRAMENTO — A California grandmother plans to stand up to Big Pharma at a state senate hearing Wednesday, sharing her story about unaffordable prescription drugs and speaking in favor of AB 824 — a first-in-nation bill that would end a drug company tactic used to block lower-priced generic competition.
Karen MacEdon, a Sacramento waitress who lives with asthma and type 2 diabetes, will tell the Senate Health Committee, “Not a day goes by when I don’t think about the impact these conditions have on my life and the growing burden of paying for the medications that treat them.”
Karen’s diabetes medication costs more than $800 a month. There is no generic option.
AB 824, legislation introduced by Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) and sponsored by state Attorney General Xavier Becerra, would make illegal a Big Pharma scheme called “pay-for-delay,” in which a brand drug maker pays a generic manufacturer not to bring a competitive product to market, driving big drug company profits and hurting patients waiting for less-expensive prescription drugs.
MacEdon’s testimony will be delivered on Wednesday, July 3 before the Senate Health Committee at 1:30 PM.
Key points from Karen MacEdon’s prepared remarks:
“To help manage my diabetes, my doctor prescribed a drug called Bydureon....I can’t afford it. So I’m forced to rely on samples from my doctor. I am grateful for these samples, but I know I cannot depend on them forever. And I’m terrified for the day when they’ll run out.”
“And Pay-For-Delay deals — like the one my drug’s manufacturer has entered into before — are driving up costs by holding back generics from the market. This committee can change that.”
“I urge you to vote YES for this bill…drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them.