House Members Riled Over Insulin Prices

#21

Thanks a bunch, @YogaO!!!
Big hearings today and tomorrow - I think that today is (in general) price of Rx Drugs and tomorrow is insulin-specific hearing. Are you ready for the Superbowl of Prescription Drug hearings?

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#22

Repeat 50,000
Execute

Dear Mr. ---------------------

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about the Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget resolution and efforts to allow the importation of drugs from Canada. I appreciate hearing from you about this issue.

The rising cost of prescription drugs has taken a toll on citizens across the country, particularly in Pennsylvania. I understand the difficulties that families face when the medication that can treat a loved one is too expensive. I have supported the importation of drugs from Canada as one way to help consumers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere access cheaper prescription medication and since 2007, have voted several times in favor of drug importation.

On January 11, 2017, the Senate considered S. Con. Res. 3, the FY 2017 budget resolution. During consideration of this resolution, there were votes on three separate amendments related to the importation of prescription medications from Canada. One, S.A. 174, was introduced by Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee; a second, S.A. 178 was introduced by Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Bernard Sanders of Vermont; and a third, S.A. 188, was introduced by Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon.

I voted against Senator Alexander’s amendment, S.A. 174, because, while it was ostensibly about drug importation, it included unacceptable, partisan provisions regarding the Affordable Care Act. I also voted against S.A. 178 regarding drug importation. S.A. 178 lacked necessary safety precautions and procedures to protect against counterfeit and unsafe drugs and I was concerned that it might lead to the importation of prescription drugs without sufficient safety regulations to protect patients. I voted in favor of S.A. 188 because it spoke to the importance of lowering drug prices generally and specifically noted the importation of drugs from Canada as one means to lower drug prices.

The Senate failed to adopt all three drug importation amendments before passage of S. Con. Res. 3. However, following the consideration of the FY 2017 budget resolution, I worked with Senator Sanders and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey to craft a joint drug importation proposal. I am pleased that, as a result of those discussions, we were able to introduce S. 469, the Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act. This bill would allow wholesale distributors, pharmacies and individuals to import prescription drugs from Canada. Critically, S. 469 would require that these drugs be identical to products approved in the United States, manufactured at facilities inspected by the United States Food and Drug Administration, and imported from certified Canadian sellers. The certified foreign seller and the importer must also share certain information about the origination of the drug to help protect the integrity of the supply chain. After two years, the Secretary of Health and Human Services would also have the authority to permit importation from countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development that have similar statutory or regulatory standards to the United States for ensuring the safety and efficacy of prescription drugs.

I continue to support the ability of individuals to import prescription medications from Canada, but believe that maintaining the integrity of our drug supply, the safest in the world, is critical. Without the proper safeguards in place to inspect facilities and document the movement of drug products from manufacturer to consumers, our ability to recall products and protect patients is threatened. Unlike S.A. 178, I am confident that S. 469 adequately establishes these protections. I look forward to working with Senator Sanders to ensure that this legislation advances in Congress.

Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you.

For more information on this or other issues, I encourage you to visit my web site, http://casey.senate.gov. I hope you will find this online office a comprehensive resource to stay up-to-date on my work in Washington, request assistance from my office or share with me your thoughts on the issues that matter most to you and to Pennsylvania.

Sincerely,

Bob Casey

United States Senator

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#23

Yes, I am ready!

Unfortunately, a jam-packed schedule will keep me from following the hearings in real-time, but rest-assured I will consume all the testimony.

It’s just like having diabetes - I have to do all the same stuff that all the sugar-normals do, PLUS stay on top of D-hearings!

#24

How I wish I received such detailed responses from either of my Senators (Rubio and Scott), or my Congressperson (was DeSantis, now Waltz).

Bob Casey IMO responded pretty fully to you. Keep in mind that as a Democrat, virtually anything he supports is going to be quashed by the GOP majority.

IMO, I would respond to him thanking him for supporting this issue and asking home to keep working on building alliances to make the bill into a law.

BTW, the maximum I ever receive is like this:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me. Your correspondence has been received and I welcome the opportunity to address your concerns. Hearing directly from constituents such as yourself is truly an honor, and your input is much appreciated.

Please look for my response in the near future. In an effort to serve you better, please do not duplicate e-mails into the web-form, as it may serve to delay the response to your concerns. If you need immediate assistance with a federal agency, please call (866) 630-7106, toll-free in Florida.

Sincerely,

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio

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#25

More circle talk - everyone blames everyone else

no change - bookmark it - these people are owned by pharma

sorry to be doggy downer, but one has to do what they are best at

#26

So if this is true, why bother? Why don’t we just act like sheep and accept our fate?

For me, I’m not going to accept that we can’t make positive changes.

Yes, it’s going to be hard, extremely hard, because industry and lobbyists have money and I don’t. The reason they are throwing their money around is because it is profitable to do so, but that doesn’t make their position right.

We have a moment, non-diabetic people, our elected reps, and industry (Pharma/Insurance/PBMs) are starting to pay attention to a system that is unsustainable, so let’s create a movement, let’s raise our voices, write our representatives and be heard!

FWIW - In today’s hearing, the PBMs (which again, are now owned by insurance companies. Or, in the case of CVS, the insurance company is owned by the PBM) stated that “rebates aren’t the problem” and there aren’t “secret backdoor deals”, but notice they aren’t opening their books to show where the dollars go, are they?

In addition, Humana says they keep a percentage. Well, if the list price goes up and the percentage they keep stays the same, don’t they make more money?

Finally, let’s not forget that the PBMs say they are working to create lower prices for their customers. That’s great, but “their customers” are the plan owners (70% of whom are companies providing health insurance to their employees), not the people picking up their prescription at the pharmacy counter.

The reality is everyone is making money but the patients. The high list price of diabetes supplies and medications and the rebate system means we, the people with diabetes, are subsidizing everyone else.

I’m advocating for change. No other country in the world delivers prescription drugs this way, why should we?

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#27

This time is unique. I have not, in my entire lifetime, ever seen these issues addressed. It took a lot of work to get to this point. Many people have made lots of sacrifices and experienced loss and hardship. We don’t want to just throw it away. The battle is in front of us. Gotta, at least, show up. I am constantly disheartened. But, you gotta re-hearten, Troops!

As we all know, life is serious business. We are some tough sons-a-bitches. I feel bad for the opposition. Diabetics know how to fight when the odds are against us. Its in us. Sometimes you ought to fight, even if your gonna loose.

Wouldn’t it be fun if we could set up a boxing match between the diabetics, the insulin manufacturers, the PBMs, a pharmacist, a doctor, and a lobbyist or two?

It should probably come down to something like this:

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#28

Will someone wake me up when a congressional hearing actually accomplished anything?? If you watched Zuckerberg hoodwink the lawmakers, you know exactly what I mean.

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#29

My insulin was capped at $25. Thats something. Two people from town worked their ■■■ off for that. Accomplishment shouldn’t be belittled. It comes at great cost.

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#30

who in the heck is “belittling” 2 folks who worked hard from your(?) town? I’ve no patience to re-read the thread…

#31

WAKE UP!

  • Express Scripts/Cigna announced a $25/month cap on insulin prescriptions

  • Eli Lilly is now providing Lispro as a generic Humalog @ 50% of Humalog’s $275 list price.

These are the direct results of congressional hearings and other forces including our advocacy. Not perfect by any means … that’s why we need you!

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#32

Not trying to attack you, specifically, @Dave44. This comment is all over the threads lately. Things are not biz as usual and haven’t been for months. Its just frusterrating to hear over and over again. I understand. I feel it too. Its a constant battle to fight that sentiment.

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#33

there’s always “a first time”. :slight_smile: I’ve watched countless hearings that did nothing more than waste everyone’s time: the lawmakers, the viewers, and those called to testify

#34

i didn’t think u were attacking me. I was just curious about who’s belittling who. :slight_smile:

#35

You know what I mean. :kissing_heart: If all your doing is watching tv, then “yes,” this fight is not for you. I’m gonna to goad and tease you now - Even my dog is better backup than that in a fight. Nothing just happens overnight. When it finally does happen, everybody wants to be like, “Wow, that was lucky!” But, its not luck. Its the cummulative effort of many individuals over long periods of time.

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#36

Over the last few months insulin price-gouging has become a kind of viral thing in political discussions not directly related to T1. Just saw an instance in my FB feed a few minutes ago. I think because people can easily grasp it, they know you die if you can’t get it, so it has a force to it and is starting to act as a shorthand or symbol for other systematic injustices. On one hand it’s kind of weird because people generally don’t have a clue about how the disease and medication work, but I regard it as a good sign because getting an issue to this level of popular concern, not to say outrage, is a prerequisite for action. Even if they’re all grandstanding, if ameliorating this situation is a result, I’ll take it.

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#37

The other thing is fixing the insulin pricing model could be a model for fixing our wacky, convoluted prescription pricing system.

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#38

They are like the Mafia, you have to buy their protection like it or not.

#39

Follow the money - pharma owns him - 532K he took

#40

All I know is diabetics are a large enough group to sway almost any election. We should own both parties. They should fear us.

Look at the ethanol scam

https://www.organicconsumers.org/scientific/70-percent-more-energy-required-make-ethanol-actually-ethanol-cornell

Every politician is scared to end the great ethanol scam cause they get voted down. Diabetics out number corn farmers but we don’t stick together and bully both sides like they do.