The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing has released a powerful testimonial from Debbie, a Georgia resident, whose prescription drug bill costs nearly $85,000 per year.
“We are regular, hardworking people who cannot make ends meet. There’s a medication that my daughter and I need to be on that runs $7,000 a month”
Debbie’s story is all-too-common in this time of out-of-control prescription drug prices and never-ending price hikes. A recent study found that the average price of a widely-used specialty drug is $53,384, nearly equal to the $56,516 median household income in the United States.
“Pharmaceutical companies have free rein to price gouge and charge whatever they want with nobody stopping them.”
A recent study found that retail prices for prescription drugs increased in 2015 for 97 percent of widely-used brand name prescription drug products included in the study. All of those retail price increases exceeded the rate of general inflation in 2015. Moreover, price hikes across the industry are on the rise, with 20% more price increases in the first quarter of 2017 than in the first quarter of 2016.
“People are literally dying because they cannot get the medications.”
Outrageous prices of prescription medications are forcing Americans to make impossible choices every day – whether to pay for medications or mortgages, or, even more troublingly, whether to take their medications at all: a study in The Oncologist found that 25% of all cancer patients chose not to fill a prescription due to cost.
“Pharmaceutical companies are spending more on advertising than they are on research and development. That’s money that could have brought the prescription price down.”
According to the Washington Post, 9 out of 10 pharmaceutical companies spend more on advertising that on research and development. In fact, spending on ads by pharmaceutical companies has grown 62% since 2012, more than any other leading ad category.
“I would say to the Congress, ‘you can make a difference in the lives of people that cannot afford the life-sustaining medications and we desperately, desperately need your help because it is crushing.”
CSRxP supports multiple bipartisan, bicameral legislative proposals such as the FAST Generics Act, the CREATES Act, and the FAIR Drug Pricing Act, which would increase transparency, put an end to anticompetitive acts by Big Pharma, and reduce barriers to generic pharmaceutical competition.
“It’s hard for me, as a mom, to tell my child, ‘a doctor wants you to have this but we can’t afford it.’”
“Big Pharma’s price gouging has gone on long enough. It is well-past time for Congress to address the never-ending price hikes, anticompetitive tactics designed to artificially extend monopolies, and out-of-control initial prices that are causing real harm to patients, job creators, and taxpayers across this country,” said CSRxP spokesman Will Holley.
“Debbie’s Story” is part of a nationwide campaign launched in early May with “PriceGougi$ol” and on-the-ground, grassroots initiatives in states across the country to help patients, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, businesses, and taxpayers who feel the consequences of rising drug prices every day. They will tell their stories to the local media and their representatives in government.