Groups Will Be Recommending Reforms During 2017 Legislative Session
Las Vegas, NV – Experts from across the U.S. joined Nevada healthcare advocates to address the prescription drug cost crisis facing Nevada today. In a poll released last month by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly three out of four Americans say drug costs are unreasonable and we need better public policies to address it.
Participants discussed how Nevada can be a national leader in setting policies to lower prescription drug costs. These solutions include:
- Making how pharmaceutical companies determine drug costs more transparent
- Putting patients’ needs first and creating a value-based system around how drug prices are negotiated
- Stopping the practice of price gouging for essential medicines
- Recognizing that just limiting how much consumers pay for drugs will not rein in overall health care costs
“Addressing sky-high and rapidly increasing drug ‘sticker prices’ in Nevada is long overdue,” said Stacie Sasso, executive director at the Health Services Coalition. “The prices charged for health care – both hospital care and prescription drugs, is the top health care concern of our 275,000 members of the Health Services Coalition. We look forward to bringing solutions for excessive drug costs during the 2017 legislative session.”
“If we are going to sustain a health care system in this country, we must address the high profit prices, including those in the pharmaceutical industry,” said Bobbette Bond, senior director of policy at Unite HERE Health. “We appreciate partners like the Center for American Progress and Doctors for America for bringing dedicated expertise from other states to assist in tackling the issue.”
“Pharmaceutical corporations set the prices that consumers pay for drugs with their own profits in mind, rather than based on how well the drug works,” said Maura Calsyn, director of health policy at the Center for American Progress. “Lawmakers should focus on reforms to lower the sky-high prices of prescription drugs.”
“Every patient deserves to have access to affordable, high quality health care,” said Bruce Rector M.D., co-leader of drug pricing, value, and affordability campaign at Doctors for America. “It is my responsibility as a physician to advocate for solutions that improve the health and lives of patients.”
The group hopes to distill the ideas discussed at the forum into a concrete legislative agenda for action in Nevada and elsewhere.
Drug corporations are drastically raising prices for top-selling drugs without cause – the group discussed insulin prices, as well the recent case of Mylan and their Epi Pen price gouging. Epi Pen costs impact 3.5 million children and adults each year, while diabetes medication impacts 29 million children and adults each day.
The event, sponsored by Health Services Coalition, Center for American Progress and Doctors for America, was held the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Medicine.