President’s Forum 136 – Video/Podcast – Congress Must Take Action to Reduce the Price of Prescription Drug 

by Jacqueline Robinson

The NRLN has produced Video/Podcast Series 2, Episode 3 for 2022 – Congress Must Take Action to Reduce the Price of Prescription Drugs.

In this episode, Ed Beltram, NRLN VP-Communications, and I address the high cost of prescription drugs, how an Rx discount card provides savings, NRLN lobbying efforts to reduce drug prices, and House and Senate bills we support.

Sixty-four million Americans on Medicare are caught in the terrible perfect storm of prescription drug price gouging. They are taking more expensive medications while living on fixed incomes. Even with their Medicare Part D prescription drug plan they are paying substantial out-of-pocket costs. This means that they especially feel the pain of pharmaceutical companies’ relentless price increases while bills that would provide lower prices have not been enacted.

Ed, who has researched, written and updated the NRLN’s white paper on prescription drugs, gives a personal example how he uses his Good Rx card to save more on his medicines than using his Medicare Part D plan.

The top 10 Rx discount cards can be found and are listed on the NRLN website at: https://www.retirementliving.com/best-prescription-drug-cards

The NRLN continues to base its lobbying to reduce prescription drug prices on:

  1. remove the prohibition on Medicare negotiating prescription drug prices. It should replace it with a competitive bidding mandate to be applied wherever two or more FDA approved generic drugs, or two or more brand drugs, or a generic and brand drugs (upon patent expiration) treat the same medical condition.
  2. end pay-for-delay and other brand-name drugmakers’ tactics that keep generic drugs off the market.
  3. allow individuals to import prescription drugs manufactured at FDA-inspected facilities from licensed Canadian sellers and import drugs from other countries that meet FDA safety standards.

The video/podcast covers the bills that Congress has failed to enact during the previous and current sessions. The drug lobbyists continue to win due to their large campaign contributions to get members of Congress to kick the can down the road.

We go into specific bills that the NRLN wants to see passed to help retirees, and all Americas, pay less for their prescription drugs.

In my closing remarks I note that current and past administrations and Congresses are at fault for agreeing to create a monopolistic environment 15 years ago. They capitulated and agreed to the “non-interference” clause that precludes Medicare from operating as a free-market-purchaser for its customers – seniors over age 65. Today Medicare cannot create a drug formulary (a product specification) or obtain competitive bids from suppliers, even generic drug suppliers.

Congress has the authority to strike down this anti-free-market hypocritical law right now. All seniors over age 65 should vote for the candidate that pledges to author, cosponsor and vote for striking down this anti-competitive statute harmful to seniors.

Bill Kadereit, President
National Retiree Legislative Network

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