The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Public Health Grand Rounds – recently hosted a webinar on “Overcoming Barriers to Medication Adherence for Chronic Diseases.” The event brought together a panel of leaders in pharmacy, nursing, medicine, academia, and public health to discuss the burden of medication nonadherence and barriers for adherence among patients with chronic diseases—including HIV/AIDS.
Medication nonadherence manifests in two distinct behaviors: intentional, such as choosing to forgo filling a prescription because of cost, or unintentional, where patients simply forget to take their medication or are unable to manage multiple medications or complex treatment regimens. The panelists highlighted how intervention strategies aimed at medication adherence can positively affect patient health outcomes. (more…)
"By introducing the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act, Sens. Sanders, Booker and Casey have heeded the call of the millions of Americans who struggle each year with the insurmountable costs of prescription drugs " said Jodi Dart, executive director of Prescription Justice. "This legislation will provide new safety protocols and guidance for American consumers who need access to lower cost medications from safe international pharmacies, beginning with Canada. Last year, 45 million Americans did not fill a prescription because of costs, and a recent poll commissioned by Prescription Justice shows overwhelming majorities support changes that will bring down drug prices. President Trump and members of Congress have an opportunity to make good on their promises to lower drug prices for American consumers. We hope they will have the political will and courage to pass this important legislation."
Prescription Justice is a non-profit organization that brings together doctors, lawyers, public health advocates, and companies dedicated to helping people afford medication. Prescription Justice advocates for legislative and policy reforms to allow personal prescription importation, permitting Medicare to negotiate drug prices, and ending "pay to delay" activities by pharmaceutical companies that prevent lower cost generics from coming to market.
Today, Prescription Justice issued a press release announcing new data showing that 45 million Americans did not fill a prescription in 2016 because of drug costs and the publication of its policy report recommending that President Donald Trump take executive actions to help consumers more easily import lower cost medications for personal use. Previously, Prescription Justice reported that 35 million American adults did not fill a prescription because of cost. The new data, extracted from the Commonwealth Fund’s 2016 International Health Policy Survey of Adults, shows the crisis of high drug prices to be worse than is widely reported. (more…)
We are proud to announce that we have changed our organization's (DBA) name from Prescription Justice Action Group to Prescription Justice, which is a simpler expression of our core position: making prescription drugs affordable is an issue of justice for Americans and we will help them obtain it.
In addition to our website and logo redesign, we have also added a weekly media update that features top news and journal articles focused on our policy priorities - personal drug importation, Medicare Drug Price Negotiations, and ending "Pay for Delay", - as well as other advocacy efforts about tackling the prescription drug price crisis in America and globally.
Let's all work together to bring about prescription justice!
Last week, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) proposed an amendment (S.A. 178) to the Senate Budget Reconciliation bill that would allow individuals, pharmacies and wholesalers to import prescription medications from Canada and other countries with a valid prescription from a U.S. provider.
The amendment took place during a 7-hour vote-a-rama in which more than 150 amendments were considered and voted on for a brief ten minutes. The amendment failed 52-46, with 13 Democrats voting against it. While the measure failed to pass, it surprisingly garnered support from 12 Republicans including Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. It’s worth noting that Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY) voted against the Dorgan-Snowe importation amendment in 2009, voted yes this time around. (more…)
Value-based pharmaceutical pricing, aimed at achieving better value for pharmaceutical spending and lowering drug prices, while maintaining innovation, is a concept that is gaining traction. In the U.S., prescription drug prices are set by pharmaceutical companies to maximize profits, not based on how well a drug works. In contrast, according to its proponents, value-based drug pricing would mean real health outcomes (not just profits) determine the cost of a drug.
President-Elect Trump’s push for healthcare reform that focuses on free market, consumer-driven initiatives will enhance the political viability of value-based drug pricing. It has more support by the pharmaceutical industry than other popular policies to bring down drug prices, as it’s viewed as more in line with free market principles than other policy proposals, such as allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
The pharmaceutical industry often defends shameful price gouging of consumers by arguing that their high profits fund the research and development of tomorrow’s new miracle cures. There is robust debate about the degree to which lowering drug prices would hurt pharmaceutical innovation. The current system holds consumers and governments hostage to pharmaceutical company business models in a manner that is inherently unethical. Think of the cancer patient who has to shell out $30,000 in co-insurance to live, and if not, then die.
The concept and practice of “delinkage,” in which the invention of new medicines is delinked from high drug prices transcends this old debate and envisions a brighter more humane future…one with robust pharmaceutical innovation.(more…)
Last year, U.S. spending on prescription drugs was at a record breaking $425 billion before discounts, and is expected to rise by 22% annually over the next five years, which is 400%, or over $600 billion by 2020. As Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, Americans across the country concerned with the soaring costs of prescription medications, will be looking to President Trump and Congress for solutions to address this national crisis.
President-Elect Trump’s top priority for healthcare reform is to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but most Americans are more concerned about prescription drug prices than Obamacare. A recent Kaiser Health Tracking Poll found that nearly 74 percent of Americans agree that a top priority for the next president and Congress should be to ensure that drugs for chronic health conditions are affordable for patients. Additionally, 63 percent believe that the federal government’s top priority should be to lower the cost of prescription medications. Last week, President-Elect Trump released a brief healthcare plan on his transition website. While the newest healthcare plan does not include prescription drug pricing, during the campaign Mr. Trump declared support for allowing Americans to import lower cost medications as part of his 7-point healthcare plan. Although not noted on that plan, President-Elect Trump voiced support for Medicare drug price negotiations during his campaign.(more…)
Part of a series of posts about common chronic illnesses and what happens when people cannot afford prescription medications to treat them.
Hepatitis C is an infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver and causes inflammation. An estimated 3.5 million Americans are living with hepatitis C, with about half unaware they even have it. Recent advancements in hepatitis C treatments have greatly improved. New medications can lead to a cure in about 90 percent of people. But the prices for such treatments are prohibiting access and that means more people will remain sick and sometimes die. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in 2014, hepatitis C related deaths reached an all-time high of 19,659, killing more Americans each year than all other infectious diseases combined, including HIV.(more…)
A large share of medication that is imported by Americans for personal use from Canada and many other countries is ordered on the Internet. It’s not a secret that the pharmaceutical industry, U.S. chain pharmacies and the U.S Food and Drug Administration are not happy about it. But what they are doing about it is less well-known and even less well-understood. An important article published by Jeremy Malcolm of the Electronic Frontier Foundation last week called “How Big Pharma’s Shadow Regulation Censors the Internet” brings the situation into clear view. Multinational pharmaceutical companies and the FDA are funding non-profit groups, global initiatives, or private companies, ones that all work with each other, to make it harder, and may make it impossible, for Americans to buy medications online for personal import.
The ‘censorship’ about which Mr. Malcolm writes is subtle but no less real than more overt censorship. The censors essentially would like all international online pharmacies that sell to consumers in the U.S. to be shutdown. For the millions of Americans who can’t or struggle to afford medication, those websites are a lifeline and that censorship, if successful, would end it.(more…)