Letter: Time to address skyrocketing prescription-drug prices

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  • Date

     October 19, 2015

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Time to address skyrocketing prescription-drug prices
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Newspapers are starting to cover the issue and now it’s time for candidates to get involved. The issue of skyrocketing prescription-drug prices is a top health concern for Iowans and one that is forcing working families to choose between basic necessities and their prescriptions.

While all prescription drugs have seen price increases over the last few years, the most drastic hikes come from specialty drugs, or drugs that treat chronic illnesses such as cancer and diabetes. For example, over 15 cancer drugs now cost patients $10,000 each month, and in the last seven years the cost of one brand of insulin has risen 354 percent (Bloomberg).

These price hikes are unjustifiable and have serious consequences for    patients who can no longer afford their medications. Patients who are prescribed specialty drugs are particularly vulnerable because they have to take them; their lives quite literally depend on it. When drug prices go up, they must either find a way to pay for them or risk dying from their chronic illness.

We must do something about this issue, pharmaceutical companies can’t continue to play games with our lives. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 76 percent of Americans believe finding a solution to prescription-drug prices should be Washington’s top health-care priority, but no one is going to take action unless we demand it. Over the next few months, presidential candidates will visit your communities. Please take a moment to ask them what their plan is to lower prescription drug prices.

J.R. Fikuart, RPh