My brother contracted Hepatitis C, a deadly liver disease. Unfortunately, like many people with the illness, he couldn’t afford to pay for the cure. Gilead, the maker of two miracle drugs that cure Hepatitis C in 99% of people, has decided to put profits over people, setting the cost of the drugs at $84,000 and $94,500 respectively for a three-month treatment.
I believe that greed contributed to the death of my brother. Without access to the cure, my brother felt helpless and his life spiraled out of control. He took his own life.
Over 3 million people live with this disease, and they shouldn’t have to die because they can’t afford the cure. A bipartisan Senate report determined that greed was the underlying motive for Gilead’s steep pricing. It’s time for Congress to take action to curb this greed, and stop price gouging by drug companies for life-saving medication.
Gilead’s outrageous pricing has made many insurance companies refuse to cover the drugs. Just in 2014, Medicaid and Medicare spent $5 billion (before light rebates) on the two Hep C drugs. Imagine what a drug company might charge if they found a cure for cancer or Alzheimer's. I don’t want to find out -- Congress must act now to limit price gouging of drugs.
I understand that we want to reward innovation and encourage companies to invest in these miracle drugs. But there is a return on investment and reasonable profits, and then there is greed that can cost lives by prohibiting access to desperately needed medication. Gilead’s profits are soaring. These two drugs are the highest selling medications in the history of the pharmaceutical industry. Meanwhile, people are dying because they can’t pay Gilead’s prices.
I can’t get my brother back, but I can try to bring meaning to his tragic experience. Help me let Congress know that it is time to take action against the drug industry’s price gouging.
Stop pharmaceutical companies from charging outrageous prices for life saving drugs.
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