The Patient Got the Win This Week
By Rep. Dusty Johnson
With all eyes focused on the pandemic, whether or not kids will head back to school in August, and concerns about unemployment, it’s easy to miss the wins of the week.
Prescription drug pricing has been an on-going conversation since I stepped foot in the halls of Congress last year, and this week the administration took positive action towards securing lower costs for Americans on prescription medication.
This week the Trump administration announced that for the first time, seniors requiring insulin will have the freedom to choose from a broad set of insulin prescriptions that cost less than $35 a month. Medicare Part D premiums are at their lowest levels in years and Americans will save 66% annually on their out-of-pocket costs for insulin because of this fix.
Prescription drugs saw their largest annual price decrease in over half a century in 2018, but there’s more to be done.
The United States continuously foots the bill for other countries when it comes to prescription drugs. America often pays an 80% markup for many prescription drugs when compared to other developed nations. This week, President Trump issued an Executive Order ensuring the United States will pay the lowest comparable price for all Medicare Part B drugs.
The administration also took action to ensure prescription discounts are passed on to the patient – right now, pharmaceutical middlemen often negotiate prices down and receive a “rebate check” while the consumer is still left to pay full price. Solving this issue could save Medicare patients billions of dollars.
There are a number of solutions to solving our prescription drug pricing problem and the administration’s actions are a solid start. As a lead cosponsor of H.R. 19 – a bill focused on slashing the cost of prescriptions for patients – I know there is more Congress can do. H.R. 19 would end the abuses of our drug patent system, cap seniors’ out-of-pocket drug expenses, and increase drug pricing transparency both in the doctor’s office and at the pharmacy.
The patient got the win this week – I’ll keep fighting for lower prescription costs for all Americans.