drug prices

20 petitions

Update posted 4 months ago

Petition to Food and Drug Administration, Novartis AG

Novartis | Reduce $2​.​1M price of Life-Saving Drug, Zolgensma, for Spinal Muscular Atrophy!

Everyone should stand up for affordable access to lifesaving drugs!!! In May 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) approved a gene therapy, Zolgensma, for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). SMA is a rare genetic disease that progresses rapidly in babies. If left untreated, even for days, SMA causes a permanent damage to babies. Zolgensma was developed by AveXis, Inc. and is sold by the Swiss drugmaker, Novartis. The drug is intended for babies under the age of two. Priced at $2.1 million per patient, Zolgensma is one of the most expensive drugs on the market. But given that the F.D.A. provided an accelerated approval process through Fast Track, Breakthrough Therapy, and Priority Review designations that saved hundreds of millions for Novartis, the drug price should have reflected that reality. Type 1, also known as the Werdnig-Hoffman disease, is the most common and aggressive form of SMA, affecting babies’ nerves and muscles. Babies with Type 1 do not produce enough protein because they are missing the SMN1 gene. They gradually die suffering grievously by being deprived of basic life functions like crawling, swallowing, and eventually breathing. Many newborns die within months, most other children do not live past age two. Therefore, the sooner the drug is administered, the better the results to maximize the outcomes of receiving the drug as Zolgensma does not reverse any damage already done. Zolgensma is simply out of reach for many suffering babies. Delayed accurate diagnosis and treatment leave parents with little time to find ample financial funds. While insurance companies may take the financial burden off of parents in the U.S., at the end, we all pay this astronomical price for this drug. On the other hand, if parents are forced to raise money through crowdfunding, out of the lack of available options, the treatment for babies is largely delayed. Even worse, some babies are left entirely out of the treatment! In May of 2021, Zolgensma entered the third year of being sold at the $2.1 million price tag, unlike any other sophisticated drugs for rare diseases. Novartis AG, reduce the universal drug price of $2.1 million for Zolgensma by tying the safety and effectiveness of the drug to its pricing. Consider all generous incentives received by the F.D.A., not its fast-producing profit. Not only will that shorten the time of raising sufficient financial funds and assess the price of Zolgensma properly but will also save more babies! According to ICER, "Zolgensma’s price for Type I patients would need to be between $710,000-$1.5 million per treatment." Once the price is reasonably reassessed, more countries will cover the treatment of Zolgensma ending ultimately the pain of afflicted families. Expand Global Managed Access Program (MAP) beyond 100 free-of-charge doses per year to make Zolgensma available to eligible patients in countries where there is lack of such treatment. Include more countries in the program. Every month, there are 30 babies born with SMA in the U.S. Extrapolate that across the globe! SMA affects babies equally despite gender and race worldwide. There is a huge need for expanding the program especially in regions where treatment is out of reach. SMA - BLOG (Part I) SMA - BLOG (Part II)   PLEASE SIGN & SHARE.

Evely S.
131,073 supporters
Started 1 year 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
377 supporters
Update posted 2 years 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
104,713 supporters
Update posted 2 years 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
103,312 supporters