BIG PHARMA POLITICS: Consumers pressure politicians to do something about rising drug prices. Read More
The Oregon Legislature is considering House Bill 4005, which would require pharmaceutical companies to justify to the state why they need to raise the price of a prescription medication more than 10 percent a year.
As expected, Big Pharma’s lobbyists are fighting hard to keep the bill from making it into law. But Oregonians are fighting hard, too.
Recently Ann Nielson, a retired registered nurse, traveled from Madras to the state Capitol to share how rising prescription drug prices personally affect her:
“I suffer from Chronic Dry Eye Syndrome,” Nielson told the House Committee on Health Care. “My doctor prescribed Restatis 13 years ago to slow the damage being caused to my eyes. Unfortunately, I cannot take my full dose because it is so expensive.”
Nielson shared that a full dose of Restasis costs her more than $2,062 per year out-of-pocket. Her insurance pays $5,157. Desperate to keep access to the drug, Nielson says she started buying it from a Canadian supplier who charged $1,137, without insurance.
“I shouldn’t have to get medication from another country just because the drug company, Allergan, continues to raise prices,” she said.
In response to the bill, Glenn Hashitani of Dundee, Oregon posted this story on Voices’ Facebook page:
“My veterinarian called in a steroid prescription for my dog at a big box drug store. I went to pick it up and they thought it was going on my Medicare plan. The price was $76,” Hashitani wrote. “I told them no, it was for my dog. They told me, “just a moment.” Since I was paying out-of-pocket the bill was less than $9.”
Wayne Canfield of Eugene shared this with the Voices Facebook community: “I think we all want to know how much actual profit is made on all prescription drugs and make sure there is competition for the companies who make them to earn our business.”
What can you do? For starters, tell your elected officials it’s time to take action. Oregonians for Affordable Drug Prices Now, a coalition pushing to pass House Bill 4005 has created this link to assist Oregonians who want to email their state lawmakers.
And please continue to share your stories with Voices for Affordable Health. Together we can make a difference.