“This is near and dear to my heart and pocketbook. This is the biggest scam facing the American public today. We need to fight this problem that is bankrupting our citizens…Tell me your story!”
Prescription drug prices are skyrocketing, jumping nine percent per year from 2008 to 2016. According to reports, these costs have left the average American paying nearly $1,200 out of pocket per year. U.S. senators recently tried to pass a bipartisan bill that would have lowered the price of prescription drugs by penalizing corporations that mimic anti-competitive practices. However, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer blocked the Affordable Prescriptions for Patients Act because he thinks it doesn’t go far enough.
The objection runs contrary to opinions by members of Sen. Schumer’s own party such as Sen. Richard Blumenthal. The Connecticut legislator has begged Congress before to partner with Republicans, so the bill can become law.
“If we pass this legislation, millions of Americans may no longer have to choose between food on the table, rent payments, and the medicine they need and deserve,” Blumenthal once stated. “That’s a choice no one should ever have to make.”
The Democrat senator also pointed out that the proposed legislation would make sure that any company caught “red handed” engaging in harmful practices would be held accountable.
“My brief story: I have had Psoriatic Arthritis, and test positive for the RA Factor, for the last 13 years. If I’m not on medication I’m in a lot of pain…this is a crippling, autoimmune disease. I have always been able to off set the cost of my medications through programs offered by the manufacture of the drug. They all have programs that pay 100% of your co-pay. I’m usually given a credit card with at least a $10K limit for those co-pays…they will give you more if you need it.”
“The medications retail for as much as $90K a year. I usually give myself the shots weekly, bi-weekly, monthly,once every two months or in the case of Remicade and infusion. I have been on Cimzia, Cosentyx, Enbrel, Humira, Remicade, Simponi, Orencia and Stelara. All of these medications lasted for max about 1.5 years, then they stop working. I have been stupid enough to think that I was cured at times and stopped taking my meds or thought I could “tough it out”…I can be a stubborn dumbass at times. I’m currently on Xeljanz XR, a pill for once…if this stops working I don’t know what my next step is.”
“I’m about to start Medicare and my Xeljanz XR will cost me abound $6,000 a year out of pocket…yes, that is with the best Plan D I can find. When you are on Medicare you CAN NOT use or participate in Manufacture Assistance Programs.”
While the Senate battles over the bill’s contents, there are ways Americans can trim down drug costs on their own. Those needing prescriptions could reportedly save up to 50 percent on drug costs if they have memberships to stores such as Costco, Kroger or Kmart. Additional discounts can also be found on free phone apps such as GoodRX and Blink Health. The apps let people pay directly out of pocket at a lower cost and, in some cases, gives drugs free of costs altogether. It even allows users to use a flexible spending card to mitigate costs.
Following the failed vote on drug prices, however, GOP Sen. John Cornyn said he hopes his Democrat colleagues will stop holding up the legislation and support it, so the bill can advance to the Senate floor.