With prices climbing rapidly each year, prescription drugs now cost more in America than in nearly every other nation. Advocates say our capita drug spending is about 40% higher than in Canada, 75% greater than in Japan and nearly triple the amount spent in Denmark. Since 2007, drug prices have more than doubled for dozens of established drugs used to treat multiple sclerosis, cancer, blood pressure and more. Fifteen new cancer medications introduced in the past five years cost patients more than $10,000 a month. Since medication is often a large portion of an elderly person’s budget, these Americans feel the pinch of high drug prices the most. Advocates say the cost of prescription drugs could be reduced by about $60 per prescription by using more FDA-approved generic medications and by allowing foreign-made drugs to be sold here. Generic competition typically lowers drug prices by 85-90%. However, large pharmaceutical companies often pay generic drug makers to delay marketing a generic version of their drug to keep the price of the original medication high. Critics claim this â€œpay for delayâ€ tactic benefits both brand name and generic drug makers, but is bad for consumers who foot the bill for more than $1 billion in higher drug prices annually. Pharmaceutical companies warn that foreign-made drugs may lack the quality assured to consumers by FDA-approved medications. However, researchers recently purchased foreign-made pharmaceuticals from the Internet and compared them to FDA-approved drugs. They found these drugs proved to be safe and effective medications.
Another reason for our exorbitant drug prices is because Congress prohibited Medicare from negotiating lower prices with drug companies when it passed Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage in 2006. Critics say â€œthe drug lobby worked hard to ensure Medicare wouldnâ€™t be allowed to cut into the profits which would flow to big Pharma thanks to millions of new customers delivered to them by Part D.â€ The Dept. of Veteran Affairs and Medicaid routinely negotiate lower prices with drug makers, who say that lowering their prices would deter the research and production of new drugs. However, studies have shown that half of all scientifically innovative drugs approved from 1998 to 2007 resulted from research at universities and biotech firms, not big drug companies. Moreover, other studies have shown these companies spend one-third of all sales revenue on marketing their products – roughly twice what they spend on research and development.
Pending Legislation: None
I oppose reforming current prescription drug policy
I support declaring that pay-for-delay settlements are presumed to be anticompetitive and unlawful, and authorizing the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the law by initiating legal proceedings, and wish to identify a legislator who will either reintroduce S.214 – Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act (113th Congress 2013-2014), or a similar version thereof
I support amending Medicare part D of the Social Security Act to negotiate with pharmaceutical manufacturers the prices that may be charged to Medicare part D prescription drug plan, and wish to identify a legislator who will either reintroduce H.R.1102 â€“ Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2013 (113th Congress 2013-2014), or a similar version thereof.