As drug pricing shapes up to be a seminal campaign issue for 2016 and
the industry and private investors continue to scale new heights in
price gouging on medications, AHF endorses Sen. Sanders’ and Rep.
Cummings’ legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices and
increase pharma transparency.
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–On the heels of recent and remarkably steep price hikes on two
lifesaving drugs to treat toxoplasmosis and tuberculosis—both of which
were abruptly rescinded after a swift and vehement public and political
outcry over price gouging—AIDS
Healthcare Foundation (AHF) announced its support for legislation
authored by Sen.
Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep.
Elijah Cummings (D-MD) that would allow the federal government to
directly negotiate drug prices under Medicare Part D, enable consumers
to import cheaper drugs from Canada and require increased drug
manufacturer transparency into research and development costs, profits
and sale information for treatments sold in other countries. The Prescription
Drug Affordability Act of 2015, introduced jointly in the U.S. House
and Senate yesterday, comes on the heels of a Kaiser
Family Foundation poll released in August that found most Americans
feel that drug costs are unreasonable (72 percent) and that drug
companies put profits before people (74 percent).
“While we’ve been fighting against pharma’s greed for decades, the
skyrocketing prices of today’s prescription drugs—and the even more
astronomical yearly profits raked in by big drug companies—have become
so obscene that it is simply no longer possible to ignore how pharma has
gamed the political and health care payer systems so that everybody
loses except the drug companies’ bottom line,” said AHF President Michael
Weinstein. “AHF fully endorses The Prescription Drug Affordability
Act and we commend Sen. Sanders and Rep. Cummings for their leadership
in authoring this bill. For too long, Senator Sanders and a very few
others like Representative Cummings have been lone voices crying in the
wilderness about the threats to public health and patients’ lives posed
by skyrocketing prescription drug prices. We urge all candidates for all
federal offices to take drug price escalation seriously.”
In August, AHF announced that advocates affiliated with the organization
collected enough signatures of registered California voters to qualify
Drug Price Relief Act for a statewide vote. The initiative would
revise California law to require state programs to pay no more for
prescription medications than the prices negotiated by the U.S.
Department of Veterans Affairs (notwithstanding any other provision of
law and insofar as permissible under federal law). Advocates from AHF
and ‘Ohioans for Fair Drug Prices’ are also currently collecting voter
signatures in Ohio for a similar ballot initiative, The
Ohio Drug Price Relief Act, to combat drug prices. Both the
California and Ohio measures are expected to qualify for, and appear on,
the November 2016 presidential election ballot.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS
organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over
488,000 individuals in 36 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin
America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn
more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org,
find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth
and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare
and Instagram: @aidshealthcare
Ged Kenslea, Senior Director, Communications
Johnson, Associate Director of Communications