Now more than ever, the U.S. Congress should take swift action against obscene drug prices and enact the Prescription Drug Price Reduction Act.
WASHINGTON (June 10, 2020) AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) today renews its call on the United States Senate to swiftly pass S. 2543, the Prescription Drug Price Reduction Act, sponsored by U.S. Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon).
“Lifesaving medicines and vaccines don’t work if patients can’t get access to them. As we face the worst public health crisis in recent history, the stark reality is the market is simply not working to keep drug prices affordable,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “Now more than ever, the U.S. Congress should take action against obscene drug prices and enact the Prescription Drug Price Reduction Act.”
- 2543, which passed the U.S. Senate Finance Committee with bipartisan support, would provide needed relief for Medicare beneficiaries and increased penalties for drug companies that practice price gouging.
The bill would save the U.S. Medicare program over $100 billion over ten years, according to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) without cutting access. It lowers out of pocket costs for seniors by capping them at $3,100 annually. It also requires more transparency and accountability from pharmacy benefit managers, (PBMs) which secretly negotiate drug formularies between drug manufacturers and insurance companies while collecting kickbacks from drug companies in the form of rebates. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA) opposes the bill.
“The status quo enriches drug companies, PBMs and the insurance industry and does nothing to improve access to life-saving medicines needed for controlling epidemics like HIV and COVID 19,” added Weinstein. “We hope that taxpayer-funded research will yield needed medicines and vaccines to treat and control COVID 19. But right now, with the current structure, only the rich will get access to these medications. The dogged determination of Senator Grassley the most senior U.S. Senator, and chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee has been inspiring. AHF pledges its continuing support for getting this bill enacted into law.”