FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kara Batt
May 20, 2015 — UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust (the “Trust”), the largest non-governmental payor of retiree health care benefits in the United States, has joined the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP), a broad-based coalition working for solutions to skyrocketing prescription drug prices.
“As a provider of health coverage to nearly750,000 auto industry retirees and their dependents, the Trust witnesses firsthand the burden to patients and the harm to the sustainability of our health care system caused by increasingly high priced pharmaceuticals, especially those for specialty conditions,” says John Rother, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care, which leads CSRxP. “Patients 50+ are more likely to be taking daily and/or specialty medications making them far more susceptible to high drug costs. The status quo is unsustainable – our health care system cannot afford the unrelenting drug price increases and devastating cost burden. To prevent our health care system from going bankrupt, we need drug pricing that is based on value and strikes a balance between the interests of innovative drug manufacturers with those of society and our health care system.”
“The UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust is pleased to join the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing,” said UAW Executive Director, Francine Parker. “Having access to affordable medications is of particular importance to retirees with fixed incomes. Increasingly, as retiree members of the Trust age, multiple prescription medications, including specialty drugs, are often essential to maintaining their health. The Rx campaign is an important strategy to ensure that medications are available and affordable.”
According to the May 2015 Express Scripts’ report, “Super Spending: U.S. Trends in High-Cost Medication Use,” baby boomers (ages 51-70) surpassed all other age groups as the highest-cost medication users, representing 58% of the population with annual drug costs at or exceeding $100,000. The number of baby boomers incurring these costs grew by 243% from 2013 to 2014 and will continue to rise as more members of the this generation enter retirement.
The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) is a project of the National Coalition on Health Care, the oldest and most diverse group working to achieve comprehensive health system reform representing more than 80 participating organizations, including medical societies, businesses, unions, health care providers, faith-based associations, pension and health funds, insurers and groups representing consumers, patients, women, minorities and persons with disabilities. Member organizations collectively represent – as employees, members, or congregants – over 100 million Americans. CSRxP aims to spark a national dialogue about the need to find market-driven solutions to the problems caused by the onslaught of new high-priced prescription medicines. Visit www.csrxp.org and follow CSRxP on Twitter and LinkedIn.
The $54 billion UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust is the largest non-governmental payor of retiree health care benefits in the United States, providing health care benefits to over 750,000 eligible UAW retirees and dependents. Follow UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust on LinkedIn.