PRESS RELEASE: NEW REPORT: BIDEN AGENDA WILL LOWER PRESCRIPTION DRUG AND INSULIN COSTS FOR FAMILIES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2022
Jack Miller, Communications Director
NEW REPORT: BIDEN AGENDA WILL LOWER PRESCRIPTION DRUG AND INSULIN COSTS FOR FAMILIES
Under Biden Agenda, More Americans Could Afford Life-Saving Medication
For too long, prescription drug costs have skyrocketed for American families. Drug manufacturers claim that higher prices are necessary to invest in research for new drugs, but the numbers don’t support these claims.
According to a report by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, leading drug companies have spent more on stock buybacks, dividends to investors, and executive compensation than on research and development. These stock buybacks and executive raises have padded the pockets of wealthy investors while higher drug costs put families in dire financial straits.
As many as 18 million Americans can’t afford their prescribed medications and 10% of Americans report skipping dosages to ration their medicine and save money. Prices for the 60 most-used prescription drugs in the U.S. are nearly four times higher than in other high-income countries.
Today, Invest in America released a new report on how the Biden agenda will lower prescription drug and insulin costs for American workers and families.
Lower Prescription Drug Costs
According to the Commonwealth Fund, “drug-pricing reform would make prescriptions more affordable for patients and help the federal government save money that could be used to address other critical health care gaps.” Here’s how:
If Build Back Better’s drug price negotiations were fully implemented in 2022, 20 prescription drugs and 42 insulin products would be subject to Medicare negotiation, lowering prices for an estimated 8.5 million Medicare beneficiaries. That’s 18% of people on Medicare!
In 2025, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) would identify 100 targeted drugs for negotiation.
A 2019 Kaiser analysis found that for Part D drugs (pills, injectables, etc.), the top 50 drugs account for 37% of all Part D drug spending, while for part Part B (drugs administered at the doctor’s office, such as infusions, such as cancer drugs), the top 50 drugs account for 80% of all Part B drug spending.
Cap Insulin Costs at $35/month, Helping People Afford a Lifesaving Necessity
The formula for insulin hasn’t changed, but its price has – it’s doubled since 2012, which follows a nearly 300 percent increase between 2002 and 2013, according to the Congressional Diabetes Caucus Report. Nearly 30 million Americans live with diabetes and 7.5 million rely on insulin, and drug companies are preying on Americans who need insulin to survive.
President Biden’s agenda would cap insulin costs and lower what Americans pay for the lifesaving doses.
The Biden agenda’s plan to lower insulin costs for Americans with diabetes will cap costs at $35/month.
Among enrollees in the individual and small group markets taking insulin, over 1 in 4 paid more than an average of $35 per month out-of-pocket for insulin in 2018.
1 in 5 insulin users (19%) with large employer coverage – which tends to have lower deductibles and copays — spend more than an average of $35 per month
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation: “Among people with private insurance who currently pay more than $35 per month for insulin on average, half would save at least $19 per month, and a quarter would save at least $42 per month. Savings are highest among people who buy their own insurance.”
Capping Insulin Costs Will Save Lives and Avoid Dangerous Illness
Here’s how capping insulin at $35 would help Americans with diabetes:
Americans won’t have to ration insulin at alarmingly high rates
In a T1 International study, 25.9% of Americans reported having rationed insulin in the previous year. In other high income countries, that number is 6.5%.
Dangerous conditions and death will be avoided
Rationing insulin causes higher blood sugars, which may lead to preventable, very expensive complications such as kidney failure, blindness, amputation, heart attacks or even death. Between 2017 and 2019, thirteen people died in 2017 while rationing their insulin.
About Invest in America
Invest In America is a national rapid response operation advocating for robust public investment to rescue the economy from the COVID crisis and create prosperity for the future, and to fight back against fear-mongers who use deficit concerns as a scapegoat to starve American communities and businesses of resources.
The operation consists of two components: Invest in America, the charitable and public education arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Economic Security Project co-chair Chris Hughes; and Invest in America Action, the advocacy and social welfare arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project Action funded by Chris Hughes and the Omidyar Network.