Today, as part of Week 2 of Lower Rx Summer, Protect Our Care is releasing a new fact sheet pushing back on Big Pharma’s lies about drug pricing reform. The fact sheet breaks down three major claims pushed by drugmakers and Republican lawmakers to block legislation to reduce prices, including Democrats’ Lower Drug Costs Now Act (H.R. 3) which gives Medicare the power to negotiate for lower drug prices for all Americans.
Protect Our Care recently announced Lower Rx Summer as part of The Campaign to Reduce Drug Prices. Lower Rx Summer consists of themed weeks of action to demonstrate the urgent need for legislation to lower drug prices principally by giving Medicare the power to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices for all Americans.
Remaining Theme Weeks for Lower Rx Summer
Week 2 (June 14): Pushing Back on Big Pharma’s Lies
Week 3 (June 21): How High Drug Prices Hurt Seniors
Week 4 (June 28): How High Drug Prices Hurt Women
Week 5 (July 5): How High Drug Prices Hurt People with Disabilities
Week 6 (July 12): How High Drug Prices Hurt People of Color
Week 7 (July 19): How High Drug Prices Hurt Small Businesses
Week 8 (July 26): How High Drug Prices Hurt Children
As Big Pharma prepares to fight upcoming legislation to lower drug prices, it is ramping up some of its most powerful scare tactics. In reality, the current system is broken: drug companies experience the highest profits of any major industry while nearly one in four Americans report that they struggle to afford prescribed medications. Drug companies raise the price of existing drugs like insulin year after year, with no reason other than that they can. Americans pay three times more for medicines than people in other countries, and millions are forced to choose between paying for the medications they need and paying for essentials like food and rent.
Big Pharma, on the other hand, is enjoying sky-high profits and breaking records for the money it’s spending on K Street lobbyists to block any meaningful reform. Here are some of the myths Big Pharma and its Republican allies are pushing:
MYTH: REDUCING DRUG PRICES WILL HARM INNOVATION, LIKE THE RAPID DEVELOPMENT OF THE COVID-19 VACCINE
- Higher profits do not correspond with increased research & development. Drug companies saved billions thanks to former President Trump’s tax bill. Instead of making meaningful investments in research and development, drug companies rewarded their executives and shareholders.
- Price hikes rarely correspond with increased clinical value. Year after year, drug companies hike the prices of existing drugs like insulin without any added benefit to patients.
- Taxpayers subsidize the creation of new drugs. Americans are being charged twice for high drug costs: first, as taxpayers funding research and development, and then again at the pharmacy counter.
- The development of COVID-19 vaccines were largely funded by taxpayers, not pharmaceutical companies. More than $19 billion in government funding has been invested in COVID-19 vaccines. Meanwhile, the drugmakers behind the vaccines are spending record amounts of money on lobbying efforts to block reform.
MYTH: H.R. 3 WILL MAKE THE U.S. RELIANT ON OTHER COUNTRIES
- Americans pay more for prescription drugs than anyone in the world. On average, Americans pay nearly three times more for medications than people in 32 other countries.
- CBO found that H.R. 3 would only have a small impact on new drugs coming to the market. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analyzed the impact of a decrease of pharmaceutical revenue as much as $1 trillion and found that it would only have a modest impact on drugs coming to market. The CBO found that the U.S. could lose only eight of the 300 new drugs expected in the next decade, and only one or two of which represent “true therapeutic advancements,” per Patients for Affordable Drugs.
MYTH: H.R. 3 IS GOVERNMENT OVERREACH AND WILL LEAD TO SOCIALIZED HEALTH CARE & DRUG RATIONING
- Drugs don’t work if patients can’t afford them. Millions of Americans report struggling to afford prescribed medications, forcing them to cut pills in half or skip doses altogether. A 2017 report from the National Academies of Medicine on lowering costs and protecting innovation concluded, “drugs that are not affordable are of little value.”
- Drug companies could lose $1 trillion in sales and still be the most profitable industry. Researchers from West Health Policy Center and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found that drug companies could lose $1 trillion in sales and still be the most profitable industry.