September 8, 2023 - 9:00 pm
The headline on your Friday editorial was “The downside of Biden’s drug price controls.” But they don’t have a downside.
The rule preventing Medicare from negotiating prices with Big Pharma started with President George W. Bush. Shortly after, there was a $3 million donation by Big Pharma to his re-election campaign. From then on, Medicare must pay whatever is asked, and we pill takers could no longer buy by mail, nor cross the border with Canada or Mexico to get our much lower drug prices for the same drugs.
President Bush sent border agents to stop buses of senior citizens and took their medicine. It created some bad press.
In my case, my cancer drug costs $1,500 a day. Medicare picks up 80 percent and my secondary insurance picks up the rest, less my co-pay of $2 a day. People without Medicare or secondary insurance must pay the $45,000 a month for their bottle of pills themselves. These people either die, sell their house or spend their life savings, then prove it to Medicaid, before Medicaid picks up the cost. And then Medicaid gets to negotiate prices where Medicare can’t.
No, drug companies will not invest less in research. It’s where they make their money. Less than a year ago, Forbes magazine noted that pharmaceuticals produced 22 new billionaires in the past two years. Nothing mentioned about how many millionaires.
President Joe Biden got insulin for seniors down from $600 to $35 a month. Those not on Medicare must pay the higher prices. We all saw the story of the young girl who died taking insulin shots only every other day. Her family could not afford the $600 a month.