fb tracking

President Biden Must Build on Achievements in Lowering Prescription Drug Prices

Washington, D.C. — Today, President Biden will hold an event at the White House on lowering health care costs. The Biden-Harris administration recently announced proposals to build on the Inflation Reduction Act’s reforms to further lower prescription drug prices, including one requiring Medicare to negotiate prices for many more drugs than currently allowed each year, a proposal that Public Citizen long has championed. Last week, researchers revealedthat a month’s supply of Novo Nordisk’s Type 2 diabetes drug Ozempic can be manufactured for less than $5, yet patients pay more than $1,000. A similar drug, Wegovy, is approved by the FDA for weight management for adults with obesity or who have pre-existing cardiovascular disease and are also overweight. Senator Sanders subsequently called on Novo Nordisk to reduce the list price of the drugs. Public Citizen’s Access to Medicines program director Peter Maybarduk issued the following statement:

“The Biden administration has made strides in drug pricing in response to the great many advocates demanding transformative change to end Big Pharma profiteering. But much more needs to be done.

“The obscene pricing scheme around Ozempic and Wegovy is just the latest example of how drug companies are abusing their market position to extract enormous profits off of Americans, and we applaud Senator Sanders for pointing that out. Given the potentially enormous market for drugs like these to treat type 2 diabetes and obesity, high prices can wield a crushing blow to our entire healthcare system.

“The President is right to call for negotiating the price of many more drugs and broadly penalizing price spikes to protect people outside Medicare.

“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 or more 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.”