Americans pay about two and a half times as much for prescription drugs as people in other developed countries.
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As a mother of two children with Type 1 diabetes, I always worry: What if my husband and I lose health coverage or can no longer afford the medications they need because they are raised by corporations drug prices are higher than we can handle?
Our sons, Thomas and Owen, both have Type 1 diabetes. Owen was diagnosed in 2011 at age 2 and Thomas was diagnosed in 2017 at age 9. They need insulin for the rest of their lives to manage the condition. When it comes to insulin prices, drug corporations have all the power and families like us feel sorry for them.
We moved from the East Coast to San Diego for work when our kids were young. But insulin is expensive no matter where you live in the U.S., even if you have insurance coverage like we do. Our sons ’insulin cost us about $ 200 per month, even with our employer -sponsored insurance. Our plan asked us to make sure we got our deductible, $ 2,900 per person, before the subscription began.
On a visit to the pharmacy, the price tag for insulin was $ 500 – more than twice what I usually paid. I was ready to leave without it, but the pharmacist offered me a coupon priced at $ 100. Insulin prices in the United States are clearly a shell game where everyone earns except patients.
Americans pay around two and a half times as much for prescription drugs like people in other developed countries. The cost of our prescriptions is greatest because the pharmaceutical industry has monopoly control to detect and maintain high drug prices. That’s while only the US does 15% in the global insulin market, we account for almost half of the revenue these corporations bring in each year. They earn billions while families like me worry about keeping our children alive.
Our elected officials have the opportunity to fix this problem and protect families from relentless pricing that could endanger our health and economy.
the Lower drug costs are now in operation, initiated by House Democrats, empower Medicare to negotiate lower prices with corporate drugs, extend it to people with private insurance and stop corporations from charging Americans many times more people in other countries pay for the same medicine. Insulin prices are on average eight times higher in the US than 32 more countries, including Canada, the UK, France, Germany and Turkey.
President Joe Biden has urge Congress to pass legislation that allows negotiation to lower the price, saying, “We will give Medicare the power to save hundreds of billions of dollars by negotiating lower prescription drug prices. … It just doesn’t help Medicare people. This will reduce the cost of prescription medication for everyone. … Let’s do it now. ”
But not all Democrats are willing to take Lots of Pharma. My congressman, Scott Peters, (D-San Diego), is done speak against this proposal even if it was passed with the unanimous support of the Democrats – including himself – in 2019. Instead of siding with his constituents like me who are struggling to make sure they get the medicine they need, the main concern of Peters is Big Pharma’s revenue.
Medicare is allowed to negotiate drug prices widely popular in the full color of politics. Negotiating prices can stop drug corporations from charging unreasonably high prices and raising prices whenever they want. In addition, Low Cost Now will save taxpayers nearly half a million dollars a year.
Peters’s claim that lowering drug prices would damage innovation is wrong. Most of the innovation is funded with taxpayer money through the National Institutes of Health, not the drug industry. In fact, every drug approved for use between 2010 and 2019 made with public funds.
Negotiated prices will allow many more of us to afford new treatments as well as medications like insulin that have been around for 100 years. In one study, one in three Americans also skipped filling a prescription, as I almost do, due to the high price. In another study, one in four Americans insulin -dependent also admitted rationing it, with cost too many people their lives.
Rep. Peters is on the wrong side of this issue. Rather than protecting industry revenue, he should support Lower Costs Now to lower the price and ensure that everyone gets cheap access to medicines.
Originally published on Common Dreams.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.