Last Friday, President Trump unveiled his blueprint to lower drug prices named American Patients First. Sadly, the Administration’s plan excludes Trump’s campaign promises to use the massive buying power of the government’s Medicare program to negotiate lower prices for older Americans and provide greater access to imported, lower-cost medications.
As President Donald Trump gives his big speech on drug prices today, we’re going to highlight a young candidate for U.S. Congress who is clearly on the side of the people on the issue of drug prices. Ryan Watts, Democratic candidate for Congress in the 6th District of North Carolina, became the first candidate to complete the Prescription Justice Drug Prices Policy Platform Questionnaire, a national bipartisan effort to provide members of Congress and candidates for statewide and federal offices an opportunity to state their position on the Prescription Justice policy platform.
A group of over 50 healthcare providers, including physicians, nurses and physician assistants, have come together to demand the federal government stop any action that would restrict access to lifesaving medications through personal prescription importation. In a letter sent to President Donald Trump, members of Congress and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the healthcare providers expressed their alarm over FDA’s action in Florida against offices that primarily serve older Americans who prefer in-person assistance with purchasing medications from Canada and other countries, rather than using an internet site.
President Trump reinvigorated the drug price policy debate by recently stating that prescription drug prices "are out of control" and, for a second time, that drug companies are "getting away with murder." He's expected to soon announce a bi-partisan drug price task force to examine prescription drug costs. The president's renewed focus on lowering drug costs is a relief from the misaligned priority of healthcare reform, which seems to have overshadowed Americans most pressing healthcare concern: soaring drug costs.
While the intense focus in Congress last week was the passage of the American Healthcare Act, millions of Americans continue to struggle with the cost of prescription medications. In 2016, 45 million Americans did not fill a prescription because of cost, and a recent poll commissioned by Prescription Justice shows that 75% Americans agree with President Trump that they drug companies are getting away with murder.
Not just individual patients but federal and state governments face an uphill budget battle as well. Public programs like Medicare, Medicaid and the Department of Veteran's Affairs continue to grapple with dramatic price increases that are crippling their budgets.