We Need Real Rx Price Reforms
Last Thursday, March 31st, the House of Representatives passed a bill to cap out-of-pocket costs for insulin at $35 per month for Americans with private insurance or Medicare Part D. This is a welcome change that will help many families, but insulin is only a fraction of the prescription drug price crisis happening in this country. A Senate hearing last month detailed the urgent need to lower prices for Medicare enrollees and others.
We need to make it clear to Congress that Americans need comprehensive relief from exorbitant prices for vital medicines. It’s time to allow Medicare to negotiate prices directly with drug manufacturers, and limit future price increases to the rate of inflation.
From 2016 to 2020, drugmakers raised branded prescription drug prices by 36%, almost four times the rate of inflation. Congressional investigations revealed pharmaceutical companies raised prices on many drugs by several hundred percent or more since their launches. This is a longstanding and dangerous trend that demands action.
Drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them and in New Jersey many people can’t. Nearly 60 percent of New Jerseyans are concerned about being able to afford prescription medication, and 1 in 5 NJ adults report not filling a prescription, cutting a dose in half, or skipping a dose to make their medicine last longer.
Lowering the price of medicine is wildly popular across party lines. Over 8 in 10 American adults say the cost of prescription drugs is unreasonable. Millions of families cannot afford to wait for Congress to chip away at runaway prices one drug a time. Tell your representatives: pass Medicare drug price negotiation so everyone can get the medicines they need. Drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them.