Imagine if your health or that of a family member depended on access to prescription drugs. Without it, you or a loved one would be at serious risk. What would you do if you could not afford the drugs?
Sadly, millions of Americans are faced with this heartbreaking decision every day because Congress has refused to fully address the rising cost of prescription drugs.
Over 130 million adults in the United States rely on prescription drugs to maintain their health or to treat a medical problem. Whether used to treat cancer, diabetes, or a common illness, prescription drugs can save lives, help people stay healthy, and help maintain their quality of life.
But the cost of prescription drugs has skyrocketed. A recent AARP report found that the price of brand-name prescription drugs widely used by older Americans has increased at a rate greater than inflation every year since 2006.
An overwhelming, two-party majority of Americans agree that rising prescription drug costs are unreasonable and a growing problem. What is even more alarming is how Americans are handling these high prices: a Kaiser Family Foundation Survey found that nearly 30 percent of American adults did not take the medications as prescribed specifically because of cost barriers.
It is scandalous that millions of Americans ignore recommended essential drugs just because they cannot afford them. No family should have to decide whether to fill a prescription or put food on the table.
For years, Congress failed to make significant progress on prescription drug reform. But we know there are common sense solutions to this challenge.
That is why I introduced the Expanding Access to Affordable Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices Act. This legislation would help lower the cost of prescription drugs and medical devices, decrease the frequency of drug shortages, spur innovation, boost domestic production and create jobs right here in the United States.
The way it would work would be to provide direct federal support to non-profit prescription drug and device makers. With funding from Cooperation Agreement grants, better access to capital through a low-interest revolving loan program, and clarification of tax-exempt status, the bill would invest in innovation. healthcare in people-focused, not profit-driven businesses. These companies are driven by one mission: to develop and manufacture affordable, high-quality drugs and devices to help Americans meet their most important medical needs.
Whether it’s access to cancer drugs or insulin pumps, my plan would help reduce costs, increase competition, and improve the national supply chain for prescription drugs and drugs. essential medical devices.
I am not alone in seeing increased support for nonprofit manufacturers as a key solution to the high cost of prescription drugs. The Biden administration and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are backing investment in nonprofit manufacturers and have endorsed the concept as part of their own cost reduction plan.
This legislative approach has also been endorsed by a wide range of organizations, from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. Insurers, medical systems, patient organizations and nonprofits are coming together to support this legislation as we need innovative solutions now.
As we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic and work to rebuild our economy stronger than before, Congress finally prepares to take action to expand access to quality and affordable health care including reducing the costs of prescription drugs. Increased support for nonprofit manufacturers is a strategy of vital importance for us to address these issues which can gain widespread support.
At a time when there is so much focus on threats to our health, we have a real opportunity to overcome one of the most common health barriers Americans face: the lack of affordable prescription drugs. Let’s do it.
Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenHouse Passes Law to Boost Federal Cyber Security Workforce Heller Won’t Say If Biden Wins Election Former Sen. Heller to Run for Governor of Nevada MORE is a Democratic Senator from Nevada and a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.