Families USA, Public Citizen, and 39 other national and state-based organizations including the Services Employees International Union, the National Partnership for Women and Families, the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, and NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice submitted a comment letter in response to the Request for Information (RFI) from the Trump Administration regarding HHS’ Blueprint on Prescription Drug Costs.
Our groups are concerned that the administration’s proposals on prescription drugs do not address the issues that truly drive prescription drug costs- namely underlying manufacturer prices and profit-driven innovation among pharmaceutical corporations.
Recent years have seen scandalously high drug prices—both when new medication first hits the market and when manufacturers escalate prices on old medicines. Examples include EpiPens tripling in cost, Turing Pharmaceuticals boosting the price of each Daraprim tablet from $14 to $750, and Biogen charging $750,000 for a year’s worth of Synraza. These pricing abuses—and the broken system of drug development from which they emerge—impose tremendous hardships on millions of people, leaving many with no choice but to go without the medicine they desperately need.
Our groups appreciate that the Trump administration is focusing on the issue of drug costs, but we are concerned that their efforts to date do not tackle the two core problems facing the prescription drug system: manufacturers’ outrageously high and rising prices; and drug innovation that prioritizes corporate profit over the public’s need for better medicine.
We urge the administration to follow through on its stated commitment to addressing high drug costs by implementing policies that directly target the unconscionably high prices charged by drug manufacturers and that refocus drug innovation on meeting people’s need for better health care, not international drug corporations’ hunger for ever-growing profits.