As we leave 2017 behind, the crisis of high prescription drug prices continues to threaten the health and well-being of Americans who struggle to access life-saving medications. Millions of Americans are forced to choose between taking the medicine they need, paying the rent or buying food for their families; tens of millions don’t take prescribed medication; and federal and state budgets are overwhelmed. At Prescription Justice, we are dedicated solely to putting an end to this devastating crisis.
Over the past year, we have concentrated our efforts and resources on advocating for regulatory and legislative reforms and commonsense policies to lower domestic drug prices and expand access to lower cost medication from pharmacies in other countries.Our policy platform prioritizes ending the ban on Medicare negotiating drug prices, making pay-for-delay deals illegal, and permitting wider access to lower-cost, imported medication through legislative, regulatory, and policy reforms. Combined, these measures offer a clear and comprehensive blueprint for addressing this growing public health crisis.
I am pleased to highlight below some of our 2017 accomplishments:
•Published an analysis, based on survey data from The Commonwealth Fund, showing that 45 million Americans did not fill a prescription last year because of drug costs – which further heightened the sense of urgency to lower drug prices for Americans.
•Issued a policy report identifying executive actions that would provide immediate help to millions of Americans through the safe importation of lower cost medications ordered from online pharmacies.
•Strengthened our collective voice in Washington, DC and across the nation through a joint letter signed by a broad coalition of consumer, health and social justice organizations to members of Congress in support of the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act. The letter also recognizes that millions of Americans already import medication for personal use and urges Congress to make it lawful for them to do so in accordance with federal regulations and the safest international pharmacy practices.
Drug prices are the number one concern of Americans, above lowering taxes, health care reform, and immigration.
Assuredly, with the pharmaceutical industry’s trend of ever-increasing price hikes, especially for specialty drugs such as those to treat cancer and hepatitis C, this issue will remain a high priority for Congress in 2018.
We are encouraged that prescription drug costs have drawn bipartisan scrutiny within Congress this year and several important measures to lower drug costs were introduced by both parties. We hope that our policies gain increasingly more support in 2018 to finally put an end to this crisis.
On behalf of the leadership of Prescription Justice, we wish you a joyous holiday season and happy and healthy New Year!