fb tracking

Drug Pricing in State of the Union: “Do Not Go Small When the Problem Is So Large”

Washington, D.C. — President Biden will announce new plans for lowering prescription drug prices in the State of the Union, according to reports. The plans include negotiating Medicare prices for many more drugs than currently allowed each year, a proposal that Public Citizen long has championed. Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program director Peter Maybarduk issued the following statement:

“The SOTU spotlight can help dispel pharma’s dark hold on American politics and at least illuminate changes the country needs to make medicine affordable.

“To start, the president needs to talk with Americans about the real savings coming tomorrow from Medicare price negotiation today. Millions of people will benefit from the president’s achievement, which Americans must understand to galvanize support for the coming fights with pharma.

“Yet the Inflation Reduction Act’s essential and hard-won reforms are modest compared to big pharma’s avarice and undue influence, and to the ogreish burden of high medicine prices on American families.

“Therefore, the president is powerfully right to call for negotiating the price of many more drugs and broadly penalizing price spikes to protect people outside Medicare. Do not go small when the problem is so large.

“The president also must call for allowing people and insurance plans outside of Medicare to access negotiated prices. He must also call for negotiating prices sooner, immediately after a drug hits the market, rather than continuing to let Americans wait nearly a decade for relief while drug corporations take in monopoly windfalls, as is the case today. This extraordinary delay undermines the efficacy of price negotiation and the Inflation Reduction Act.

“Additionally, people without insurance, who are most vulnerable, still are waiting for cost protections and for the administration’s overdue attention.

“High drug prices are a distinctly American ogre, requiring courage to take down. We hope to hear that spirit in the president’s speech tonight.”