Tuesday, January 12, 2016
RxforAmericanHealth publisher supports Task Force on Lowering prices, calls for additional Congressional leadership
Publisher's note: The following is a copy of a letter sent today (January 12, 2016) by RxforAmericanHelath Publisher Daniel Hines to members of the Democrat Task Force designed to lower prescription drug prices. In the letter, we support the intent of the Task Force, but urge them to expand their scope from the spike in generic drug prices to more comprehensive, bi-partisan legislation that will address the 'public (and Congress) be damned attitude of Pharma as it continues to charge whatever it wishes for medicines. This is the launch of what we believe will be a 'watershed year' that could finally end the pricing abuse of pharma, with Congressional action that recognizes that a medicine that is unaffordable is, in and of itself, unavailable. As many have noted, a medicine that is denied is of no health benefit. The letter follows:
I am writing in my capacity as publisher of the TodaysSeniorsNetwork group of nationally followed and read blogs, including RxforAmericanHealth, to support your of Congressional efforts with the formation of the Affordable Drug Pricing Task Force to lower prescription medicine prices for Americans.
It is time for Congress to pass comprehensive, bi-partisan legislation that will direct the Food and Drug Administration to act in a manner to facilitate access to safe, affordable medicines for Americans and to end the pricing abuses we continue to witness from Pharma in complete disregard of criticism from policy-makers the media and, yes, even Congress. This is a leading issue of the 2016 elections , and can be expected to grow in importance, as increasing numbers of Americans face the reality that a medicine that is unaffordable is, in and of itself, unavailable.
I am a supporter of personal importation of safe, affordable brand-name prescription medicines from licensed, registered pharmacies in Tier One Countries whose standards of safety and efficacy meet or exceed those of the U.S. However, I, and a growing number of Americans, realize that rather than a reliance upon a single solution, what is needed is a comprehensive approach to lowering prescription medicine prices. This includes:
1. Price negotiation;
2. A ‘stakeholder’ role for the American public that supports so much of Pharma R&D,by an increased presence of consumer advocates and private citizen in policy development, hearings, and opportunities for public comment;
3. A revised patent policy that ensures the public investment in R&D is protected in legislation that will provide penalties if Pharma is abusive in its pricing practices;
4. Reciprocal Memorandums of Understanding between regulatory agencies of Tier One Countries as validation of the safety and efficacy of the oversight of personally imported medicines from those countries;
5. Criminal penalties for abuse of pricing practices based on a ‘what the traffic will bear’ philosophy;
6. Greater transparency in Pharma pricing practices;
7. An end to direct to consumer advertising for prescription medicines.
I am including links to three articles I hope you and your staff will find helpful. I am sending this to your office via fax so you shall have a ‘hard copy’ for your consideration,. I am also emailing it to your healthcare legislative aide.