Exorbitant prices charged by pharmaceutical corporations are harming our patients, bankrupting families and leaving public health systems in tatters. As providers who witness these injustices firsthand, we must work to ensure that politicians commit to passing laws that actually, meaningfully lower drug prices for our patients. Your patients need your help! Please click here if you can be a part of our Rx Action Community.
SAVE THE DATE: December 4 • DFA NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION
Support H.R. 3, The Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act
Please join Doctors For America in a nationwide action on Dec 4 to support this bill. If enough of us use the power of our white coats, we will help advance the boldest drug pricing law in history to pass any House of Congress.
- Allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices, just like Medicaid and the VA
- Provides real leverage over prices, with the ability to levy enormous tax penalties if drug companies refuse to offer prices similar to those charged in other wealthy countries
- These negotiated lower drug prices will be available to all Americans with private insurance, not just Medicare recipients
- Creates a new $2,000 out-of-pocket limit for drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries
- Slows unfair annual price hikes above inflation
Areas for Improvement:
- HHS is only required to negotiate lower prices for 25 of the most expensive medicines, including insulin, although the Agency is permitted to negotiate for many more. A hostile President could choose the lowest possible number. Efforts are underway to raise the minimum number, and DFA is pushing for more before the House floor vote–stay tuned.
We expect the House to vote on this bill in mid-December. On December 4, DFA providers across the country will be making phone calls to House members asking them to co-sponsor H.R. 3. It’s easy–and important. Together, we can win affordable medicines for millions, young and old, and end Big Pharma’s sweetheart deal that has, for too long, restricted Medicare’s ability to negotiate drug prices.
TIMING: Many DFAers have busy schedules. It’s fine to make calls on Dec 3rd or 5th if you are not free on the 4th. Leaving messages after hours is also fine–and almost as valuable.
CALL THE CAPITOL SWITCHBOARD and ask for your House Representative at (202) 224-3121
If you don’t know who your Representative is, the operator can connect you when you give them your address. Once connected, you can leave a message with the front desk, where staff keep a running tally of calls. The more calls, the better - Members of Congress track and take notice of what their voters care about enough to make a phone call!
Hi, My name is ____________. I’m a physician/medical student in (city, state) in Representative ______’s district and I’m with Doctors for America.
I’m calling to urge Representative (insert name) to co-sponsor and support H.R. 3, the Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act.
(Share a brief personal story about a patient or family member who cannot afford his/her medications and how this drastically impacted their life.)
Example: One of my patients is Martha who suffers from Type 2 Diabetes and cannot afford her insulin. She has to make the impossible choice between putting food on the table for her 4 kids and paying for insulin, which continues to skyrocket in price. As a result, she is starting to become blind from diabetes and her kidneys are being damaged. She may soon require dialysis if she can’t take the insulin I routinely prescribe her. I care for many patients like Martha who cannot afford their prescription drugs and this is WRONG.
I hope Representative (insert name) will commit to this. Thank you for taking my call.
BONUS POINTS: After speaking to the front desk person, ask them for “the person who deals with health care issues for the Representative.” Conversations with that staffer can be very effective. DFA can help by setting up phone meetings with senior congressional staff, and prepping your team with all the tools you need. We can even join if that helps.
DFA is campaigning hard to lower drug prices, and it’s all hands on deck. Please click here if you can be a part of our Rx Action Community. We have one national phone call per-month, and an exclusive, no-forwarding, two-way email list so members can communicate with each other. The list is typically 3-5 emails a month. You’ll have advance notice of advocacy opportunities in your area, such as lobby days, town hall meetings with public officials, and candidate events in your region.
Thank you for helping support DFA’s national day of action. Even if we don’t pass the Senate this year, House passage is a marker we can use to hold our candidates and elected officials accountable for in the future. Get ready for the 4th! Just before the day of action on Dec 4, you’ll receive another reminder link and a survey to report your interactions with your House Member.
Stay tuned for updates and more actions. Click here if you can be a part of our Rx Action Community.Together, we can win health justice for everyone.