Thursday, November 5, 2015
RxforAmericanHealth publisher calls for bi-partisan Consensus, Coalition legislation in Congress To lower prescription costs
Publisher's Note: This news release is being sent to Congressman and Senators, as well as to media across the nation.
St. Louis, November 5, 2015--The publisher of Rx for American Health is calling for a coalition of Senators and Representatives and their staffs to reach consensus on a single comprehensive bill incorporating major points of a number of disparate legislative proposals to lower prescription medicine prices, and to be prepared to offer their bill immediately with the reconvening of the 114th Congress in January 2016.
Daniel Hines says that the national outrage over the ‘predatory’ pricing practices of Pharma offers an opportunity to incorporate such issues as ending ‘pay to delay’, personal importation of brand name medicines from Tier One Countries, price negotiation of medicines for Medicare and Medicaid, a recognition of a ‘stakeholder’ right for the citizens and advocates for the American public that is a major source of funding through taxes for Research and Development costs of new medicines, and a review process for patent continuation by drug companies that are found to violate the law.
“I have always hoped that the public, policy makers and media would someday recognize that a medicine that is unaffordable is equally unavailable, and, by extension, a medicine that is unavailable is equally incapable of providing any health benefit,” Hines notes. “Now that day has come.
“This creates a climate of opportunity for long-suffering Americans who have paid steadily increasing prices for their medications. It creates a climate of opportunity to end Pharma actions that create costly—and too often unaffordable medicines—that are a major driver of health care costs. It creates a climate of opportunity to recognize the role of the American patient, caregiver, family member as having ‘stakeholder’ rights that merit a seat at the table in the form of ordinary citizens and/or their advocates.”
Hines said it was gratifying to see the furor in Congress about prescription prices and the many forums, task forces, and various legislation that has been brought forth, but he asks, “after the many hearings are held, after the Forums are over, after the Task Forces disband, after Pharma and its front groups launch their counterattack using the vast financial support of literally dozens of members of Congress and the army of lobbyists that will be turned loose on Capitol Hill, the question remains:
“Will this be, as Henry A. McKinnell,, the then-chairman of Pfizer scolded then-Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota in a press conference following a shareholders’ meeting in St. Louis, the seeming outrage would be nothing more than a ‘Prairie Fire that comes along every four years as a product of the elections and then ‘burns itself out.
“Most importantly, it creates a climate in which the totality of the harmful effects of Pharma pricing strategies has been exposed. The challenge: Will Congress exercise leadership to take the steps that will ensure success?
“It is crucial that Congress acts to ensure that the U.S. joins the rest of the industrialized world to ensure that our citizens have access to affordable, safe, and innovative medicines that will enhance the health and well-being of all Americans,” he concludes.