Letter’s: Patients Over Profits: The Demand for Fair Prescription Pricing

Published 3:25 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2024

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Dear Editor,

Like many folks, I take prescription medications daily. It’s infuriating to see how much the prices and out-of-pocket costs for the prescriptions I rely on have increased because of the unfair business practices that insurers and their PBMs use to keep costs down and profits high, no matter how much it hurts patients.

That’s why I couldn’t believe lawmakers in Washington dropped the ball on passing PBM reform last year, especially with there being several bipartisan solutions on the table. With rising out-of-pocket prescription costs and decreasing access being a major voting issue this year, Congress would be smart to pass PBM reform as part of the larger budget legislative package that must pass by March.

PBMs shouldn’t be allowed to withhold the prescription discounts and rebates they secure from drug manufacturers when those savings could be passed down to patients to help reduce rising out-of-pocket costs. PBM policies should also not limit patients to higher-cost medications when lower-cost alternatives may be just as effective. Congress needs to stand up for patients by working to rein in these and other unfair practices.

Senators Cassidy and Kennedy should take a stand for patients here in Louisiana and across the country by pushing for Congress to include the DRUG Act—a bipartisan PBM reform bill—in its must-pass budget package. This is a critical issue for me and tens of millions of other Americans. Congress must get PBM reform right.

Shayne Benedetto