This article co-authored by PFAM founders Dr. Chris Stack and Fran Quigley, along with Hoosiers for a Commmonsense Health Plan director Dr. Rob Stone, was published in the Indianapolis Star on January 4, 2018, and subsequently in several other Indiana newspapers. To read the article at its original source, click here.
All Hoosiers have seen the headlines about drug price increases, and too many of us see the struggle first-hand. A vial of insulin can cost a person with diabetes 10 times as much as it did in the late 1990s.The price of an EpiPen has risen 450%. Some new treatments for cancer and other diseases are priced as high as $750,000, even when taxpayers paid for the most critical research to develop those drugs.
One of every five Americans report either skipping medicine doses or failing to fill prescriptions each year due to cost. As physicians and a lawyer working on health-care access in Indiana, we have talked with people who have suffered strokes after they could not afford to fill their doctors’ prescription for blood pressure medicines. We have talked with mothers who have lost adult children who had been forced to ration their insulin.
Americans are outraged, and rightly so. In poll after poll, strong majorities of people across different political parties agree that our government needs to do more to rein in drug pricing abuse. President Trump has said that pharmaceutical companies are “getting away with murder,” and promised that the U.S. government would start negotiating down the price we pay for our medicines.
Negotiation is the right prescription for curing out-of-control drug price increases. Thanks to benefitting from taxpayer-supported research and government-granted monopolies, the pharmaceutical industry enjoys some of the highest profit margins in modern history, even after spending more of its revenue on advertising than on research. That is why President Trump and a whopping 92% of Americans support allowing our Medicare program to negotiate down drug prices...