Prescription Justice recently joined with nine other health, social justice and consumer advocacy organizations to launch a petition to demand Congress act to bring relief to the millions of Americans who can't afford the prescription drugs they need. The online petition largely echoes the Prescription Justice policy platform which 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.
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.
Recently, The Hill featured the Op-Ed, A tale of two drug bills — one proposed bill will worsen the drug prices crisis, by Gabriel Levitt, President of Prescription Justice. Mr. Levitt’s Op-Ed provides an insightful look at legislation targeting two distinct public health problems, but only one has the capacity to inflict further devastation from the public health crisis that is high drug prices. The Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention Act of 2017 (STOP Act), introduced by Sen. Rob Portman (R- OH) aims to stop the flow of the highly addictive synthetic opioid fentanyl from coming into the U.S. by requiring the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to obtain information about packages coming from foreign sources.
The Brussels Principles underscore the importance of the international online marketplace as a lifeline of affordable medication for the millions of people forced to go without necessary treatment due to drug cost and availability. On March 31st, 2017, Prescription Justice organized a panel for the RightsCon 2017 conference in Brussels, which addressed protecting online access to safe and affordable medication.
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.