WASHINGTON – President Biden remarked today, “But for prescription drugs – and only prescription drugs – Medicare is prohibited by law from negotiating for the best deal.”
Policymakers also must note that for prescription drugs – and only prescription drugs – middlemen negotiate discounts and then pocket them, instead of passing lower prices through to patients. No other component of our health care system works that way. The broken rebate system leaves people with diabetes paying inflated list prices rather than 60-80 percent lower net costs. That’s as much as $40 billion out of patients’ pockets in a single year.
“When the Diabetes Leadership Council launched the Less Talk, More Action campaign, we made it clear that Washington needs to stop talking about prescription drug prices and do something about them. More than 120 million Americans with diabetes or at risk of developing the disease cannot afford more vague promises or budget gimmicks,” said Stewart Perry, Chair of the Diabetes Leadership Council
“COVID-19 has ravaged the nation and a disproportionate number of Americans in the diabetes community. Any reforms President Biden and Congressional leaders propose in Medicare should move toward a national standard for affordable and accessible diabetes prevention and management for all Americans with or at risk for the disease.”
Both parties need to commit to protect Americans and implement no, or low patient cost-sharing for diabetes management and prevention – including medications, technologies, and services – first in Medicare, then in other public and private insurance. Early and equitable access to diabetes care is the only way the federal government can shift toward keeping Americans with diabetes healthy, rather than covering more traumatic and costly complications brought on by years of struggling to afford needed care.
President Biden laid out a starting point for bipartisan negotiations in his announcement today. We look forward to continuing to work on behalf of 120 million Americans with or at risk for diabetes with a stepped-up effort from the White House and Congressional leaders.
It’s time for Less Talk, More Action: https://diabetesleadership.org/its-time-to-put-patients-first
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DLC is a 501(c)(3) patient advocacy organization comprised of individuals who combine their passion for advocacy with decades of diabetes experience and leadership to advance patients-first policies at the local, state and national levels. Our members – all former leaders of national diabetes organizations – engage policymakers, and public and private sector influencers to call attention to the diabetes epidemic and provide a voice for 34 million Americans living with the disease.