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.
Prescription Justice heartily endorses Utah bill HB 163, The Prescription Drug Affordability Act, and applauds Utah Representative Norman Thurston (R-63), its lead sponsor. The bill envisions the federal government permitting Utah to import wholesale quantities of FDA-approved drugs from Canada, which would then be dispensed to patients at retail pharmacies and hospitals in Utah. Canadian wholesale pharmacy prices are much lower on many expensive brand name drugs. Utahans would stand to save hundreds of millions of dollars on their collective pharmacy bill.
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.
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.