Prescription Justice has graded all members of Congress in a drug prices report card. Some people are dismayed that Speaker Nancy Pelosi received an F. After all, didn’t she roll-out and shepherd H.R. 3, the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, through the House and vociferously called for its passage on the House floor, as read on the Speaker’s website. So, what happened to her grade? A lot of Rep. Pelosi’s F has to do with her role as Speaker and how it differs from all other legislators.
While the coronavirus pandemic is the most pernicious public health crisis of our time, for decades now the crisis of high drug prices is a ubiquitous feature of the American healthcare landscape. Young adults dying because they can’t afford insulin; people burdened with battling cancer facing bankruptcy due to the price of cancer drugs; patients going to the emergency rooms because they did not take heart medications due to cost; parents faced with the decision of whether or not they can afford a new Epipen, as their old one faces expiration, and the list goes on and on. We are outraged by the greed of the pharmaceutical industry, but we cannot vote in and out of office their CEOs and other executives. But we can do just that when it comes to Congress. To help, Prescription Justice has created the Drug Prices Congressional Report Card in which we have graded all members of the U.S. Congress, House and Senate, on their action or inaction on drug prices.
Today, President Trump announced four executive orders with the stated intent of substantially lowering drug prices. Briefly, the administration’s bluster on drug prices over the past three years has been far louder than any actions taken to actually do something about it. Better late than never.
The orders call for and include: 1) Lower prices on EpiPens and insulin, 2) Allowing personal drug importation, 3) Ending profit-taking by pharmacy benefit manager middlemen, and 4) “most favored nation” drug price negotiation in Medicare, meaning Medicare would get the lowest price on drugs of any country.
The Prescription Justice Board of Directors recently approved a statement regarding Covid-19. The Board recognizes that Covid-19 infuses the crisis of high drug prices with greater life-and-death urgency.
Gabriel Levitt, President of Prescription Justice submitted comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) titled "Importation of Prescription Drugs, FDA-2019-N-5711, 84 Fed. Reg. 70796.