Pending legislation would help residents save on prescription drug costs by empowering Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, capping out-of-pocket costs, and limiting pharmaceutical price increases to the rate of inflation, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) said during a discussion with a plethora of healthcare professionals, including ONS member Heather Murphy, MSN, FNP, OCN®, president of the ONS Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts Chapter, about rising prescription drug prices at a Rhode Island conference in July 2022.
Reed outlined in a statement that Americans can spend more than three times what citizens of other countries pay for prescription medicines. Brand-name drugs increased by almost 11% annually from 2008–2021, Reed added, according to a report published in JAMA. Nearly one-third of households, including 43% of those with annual incomes under $40,000, decline to fill a prescription or skipped doses because of affordability concerns.
“We can’t let the cost of prescription drugs continue to be a barrier to good health,” Reed said. “For too long, the pharmaceutical industry has overcharged Americans and dictated sky-high prices for life-saving prescription drugs that people rely on.”
Hope for lower drug prices is on the horizon thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act that President Joe Biden signed in August 2022. The law caps medication prices for Medicare recipients and gives Medicare the ability to negotiate prices for high-cost drugs.
Lowering prescription medicine prices reduces barriers and improves equal access to care, especially for patients with cancer. Join ONS and other healthcare advocate groups in fighting for legislation that removes financial disparities.