drug prices

19 petitions

Started 2 months ago

Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, United States Department of Health and Human Services

BAN direct-to-consumer advertising by Big Pharma

The top 10 US based drug manufacturers recently took in a combined annual $245 billion in revenue, a figure that has increased steadily every year. Big Pharma's ever-recurring explanation for this is they have to raise drug prices because they need more money for research and development. Since 2012, Pfizer - one of the biggest ad spenders - has increased the price of its pain management drug Lyrica by 163%. However, Pfizer spent nearly 8% LESS on R&D than it spent on advertising alone. The drug giant dedicated a whopping 67% less to R&D than advertising, corporate overhead and profits combined. In 2018, spending on advertising for the top five selling brand name prescription drugs climbed 5% over the previous year.  Overall, studies have found that more than 19 cents of every Big Pharma revenue dollar goes to direct-to-consumer marketing — $47 billion for just the top 10 drug makers. Pfizer won the distinction of being the worst offender.  This affects everyone, whether you are covered by Medicare, a private insurance plan, or worse, one of the ever-increasing uninsured. Prescription drug plans pass these costs on to the consumer, and the uninsured are faced with an astronomical charge to get the medicine that at least may greatly increase quality of life, if not possibly save it. I was recently diagnosed with DVT (blood clots) in the lower leg. It was my doctor, not me, who determined that the best course of treatment was a three month regimen of the drug Eliquis, a blood thinner under patent by Pfizer. My out-of-pocket cost was $88, but the drug plan's cost was $1,175 - for a total of $1,263. So, about $240 of that payment will go towards bombarding me with incessant ads urging me to ask my doctor if Eliquis is right for me.  This insanity has to stop.  Globally, every country except the US and New Zealand has outlawed direct-to-consumer drug ads. Big Pharma doesn't want this because studies have found that many patients actually follow their ad nauseam advice to “ask your doctor” if a specific brand name drug "is right for you" when they’ve seen ads for that medication on TV or online. It is not the general public's responsibility to suggest to a medical professional what medication, if any, is needed for their condition based on ads they've seen on TV. Congress has failed to take action on this, because they receive huge sums of money in campaign donations from Big Pharma to enable this wasteful spending. They are bought and sold representatives of the drug companies, when they are supposed to be representatives of we the people. These drugs are also awarded longstanding patents, preventing lower-priced generic equivalents from being offered for years. This creates monopolies that enable opportunistic price gouging by these soulless corporations whose only concern is how much money they can extract from you to keep you alive. It's long past time for your government to stop providing lip-service of "more affordable health care" and actually do something about the problem.  BAN direct-to-consumer advertising by Big Pharma. The top 10 drug ad expenditures by Big Pharma in 2019: 1. Humira    (Abbvie)2. Xeljanz   (Pfizer)3. Dupixent (Regeneron)4. Chantix   (Pfizer)5. Emgality  (Eli Lilly)6. Ozempic  (Novo Nordisk)7. Eliquis     (Pfizer)8. Keytruda (Merck)9. Otezla     (Celgene)10.Trulicity  (Eli Lilly)   Sources:  Global Data Kantar Media Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing  

Mike M
91 supporters
Update posted 5 months ago

Petition to Blue Cross Blue Shield

Blue Cross Blue Shield: Stop overcharging for insulin

You’ve probably heard some of their stories. People are dying because they can’t afford insulin. Thousands more are risking serious harm by skipping doses.  Incredibly, many of these people have health insurance.  How can that be? One big reason: Most insurance companies overcharge their members for insulin and other prescription drugs. I used to work for one of those companies—Blue Shield of California. Here’s how the companies overcharge. When insurers agree to cover specific brand name drugs, including insulin, they negotiate rebates to the insurer from the pharmaceutical companies. For insulin, the rebates average 70%. But when insurers calculate your cost-sharing payments, most base it off the full list price, not the after-rebate price they pay. So if the list price for a particular brand of insulin is $400 a month and the after-rebate cost to your insurer is $120, they’ll charge you $400. If you’ve met your deductible and your co-insurance is 20%, they’ll charge you $80 instead of $24. This practice is so clearly immoral that two of the biggest insurance companies, Aetna and UnitedHealthcare, have voluntarily stopped doing it. They now base member cost-sharing for insulin and other drugs on the discounted cost to the insurer, not the list price. But Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers (except for BCBS of North Carolina) continue to overcharge. The only reason they get away with it is that so few people know about it. With some public exposure and pressure, we can get them to do the right thing too. To end the insulin affordability crisis, we have to change how pharmaceutical companies and insurers behave.  Blue Cross Blue Shield: Stop overcharging for insulin and other drugs, and instead base member cost-sharing on the actual costs of drugs.

Michael Johnson
104,310 supporters
Update posted 5 months ago

Petition to Janet Cruz, Florida State Senate, Florida State House, Florida Governor, Nicholas X. Duran, Janet Cruz

Put a price cap on insulin in Florida

I am a Type 1 diabetic and I have been since 1994. Just a couple of years ago the cost for a 3-month supply of Novolog insulin, which I have to inject every time I eat, was $100. Now, a 1-month supply costs $458.77 and there is no discount for a 3-month supply, meaning I would have to pay almost $1,500 for a 3-month supply -- about $6,000 a year for just one type of insulin. However, pricing elsewhere shows that this high cost is not necessary. Canada’s price for insulin is $90, and Colorado recently passed an insulin price cap of $100 per month. It's time for Florida to join Colorado in passing a price cap on this life-saving drug. Type 1 diabetes, which according to the CDC accounts for about 5 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes, is an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Because their bodies cannot make insulin, type 1 diabetics require insulin prescriptions to live (in some extreme cases this is true for type 2 patients as well).  "When type 1 diabetics take less insulin than they need, at the expense of having higher blood sugars… glucose rises significantly and in an attempt to find alternate fuels for the brain, keto acids are formed which are potentially toxic and lower the body's pH. DKA (Diabetic Ketoacidosis), when left untreated, can be lethal, and can set in quickly. In the absence of insulin a person might get DKA within 24 hours," - Robert A. Gabbay, the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. The price of insulin has skyrocketed in recent years, with the three manufacturers — Sanofi, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly — raising the list prices of their products in near lock step, prompting outcry from patient groups and doctors who have pointed out that the rising prices appear to have little to do with increased production costs. In the United States, just three pharmaceutical giants hold patents that allow them to manufacture insulin: Eli Lilly, Sanofi and Novo Nordisk. Put together, the “big three” made more than $12 billion in profits in 2014, with insulin accounting for a large portion. Because of the incredibly high cost of insulin and other expensive supplies to handle their diabetes, many diabetics are forced into dire situations. Many diabetics have resorted to rationing insulin, risking their lives every day because they can’t afford to pay for their next vial. People are forced to choose between the insulin they need to survive, and keeping a roof over their head and food on the table for their families. People’s lives shouldn’t be put at risk because the insulin they require to live isn’t deemed “necessary” by insurance. The insulin price cap in Colorado has shown that it’s possible for states to take control of outrageous insulin pricing and as a result, to save lives. It’s time for Florida to join them in protecting Floridians with diabetes from avoidable health risks. I urge you to look into the legislation that Colorado passed as a potential example for Florida to follow.

Matthew Barnes
103,515 supporters
Update posted 5 months ago

Petition to Kentucky State House, Kentucky State Senate

Bring transparency to insulin prices in Kentucky!

Join the KY#insulin4all chapter, formerly the KY-OH-IN#insulin4all chapter, in calling for action in Kentucky. Add your name, in addition to your city of residence in Kentucky, to this petition asking the Kentucky Legislature to raise legislation that requires transparency for insulin pricing starting with the list prices set by insulin manufacturers Eli Lilly, Sanofi, and Novo Nordisk. Many people with type 1 diabetes are being forced to ration their insulin, and an increasing number of people have died because they could not afford it. Without their essential insulin, people with diabetes die quickly and painfully. In April of 2018, chef Seely Wetherell from Newport, KY was reported to have passed away after being forced to ration his insulin supply while in between insurance plans. This is not an isolated incident. ● The price of some decades-old insulin has increased over 1000% since 1996.● The cost for one vial of Humalog insulin is currently around $280.● Even with insurance, people are paying an average of at least $210 per month for insulin alone and up to 50% of their annual income on diabetes costs. In June of 2017, Nevada became the first state to pass a bi-partisan insulin price transparency bill, SB539. Other states have followed with similar bi-partisan price transparency legislation. While being dependent on insulin for survival is a life-long challenge, paying for insulin should not be. Insulin is just as vital as oxygen. Every human needs insulin to survive. The lives of Kentuckians who must inject insulin daily to survive are being held hostage by increasing prices.  Help us continue to live long and healthy lives with affordable insulin as we start to unravel the mystery of insulin prices with data from price transparency legislation!

30,606 supporters