Stephen Williams Pennsylvania 0

Create PA Transparency Law On Pharmaceutical Drug Costs

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According to research done by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Senator John McCain, pharmaceutical medication costs “roughly 40 percent more than the next highest country.” It is time for the pharmaceutical companies to disclose to the American public WHY these medications cost so much. This petition calls the Pennsylvania legislature, made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate, to pass legislation requiring pricing transparency of medications that cost $5,000 or more and for Pennsylvania Governor Wolf to sign the bill into law. The letter will be delivered to the offices of Governor Wolf, House Republican Chair of the Health Committee Matthew Baker, House Democratic Chair of the Health Committee Florindo Fabrizio, Senate Republican Chair of the Public Health & Welfare Committee Patricia Vance, and Senate Democratic Chair of the Public Health & Welfare Committee Shirley Kitchen. Sign your name to the following letter & add any comments you wish to:

“Dear PA Legislature Health Chairs & Governor Wolf,

The people of Pennsylvania are calling on you to pass legislation and sign it into law requiring that pharmaceutical companies that sell drugs in the state of Pennsylvania provide complete transparency into the prices of drugs they sell for more than $5,000. These companies should be required to provide the amount spent on research and development of the drug, the amount spent on clinical trials, the amount spent on manufacturing and administration of the drug, the amount spent on patents and licensing costs, the amount spent on marketing and advertising, and the amount of quarterly profit left over from the drug. This information should be easily and completely accessible by the public. Your constituents are hurting from the price of drugs and deserve to be aware of where their money is being spent and why costs are so high. A survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, a respected non-partisan organization, found that 74% of “those taking prescription drugs find the costs unreasonable, as do 72% of those not taking such drugs.”[i] According to an article published by the Huffington Post, American’s spent “nearly 40 percent more per person on prescriptions” than those in Canada, “the next most expensive” country.[ii] In addition, “Medicare is predicting that drug costs will continue to rise by nearly 10 percent per year for the next 10 year. Tens of thousands of Americans now spend more than $100,000 a year on prescription medication.”[iii] According to DRX, a price-comparison software company, “about 20 brand-name prescription drugs have at least quadrupled since December 2014, while another 60 medications have seen their prices more than double in the same time period.”[iv] In early 2015, a company bought the drugs “Isuprel and Nitropress, which treat issues such as irregular heart rhythms and hypertension and quickly boosted their prices by 525 percent and 212 percent, respectively.”[v] Prices for cancer drugs “routinely exceed $100,000 a year, and some new ones exceed $150,000. And it is not unusual for the list prices of existing drugs to rise 10 percent or more year after year, far beyond the rate of inflation.”[vi] Pennsylvania seniors are hurting as well. According to the Allegheny County Apprise program, seniors are “indicating that the cost of their prescription medications is at least a major, if not primary, concern.”[vii] This isn’t surprising as a AARP RxPrice Watch report found that the “average retail price among 622 prescription medicines widely used by seniors more than doubled from $5,571 in 2006 to $11,341 in 2013.”[viii] It is past time for Pennsylvania to stand up for its citizens, especially the sick and elderly, who are most vulnerable. It is time for the pharmaceutical companies to be accountable to the public through price transparency.


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