The Prescription Drug Affordability Act of 2015 via @DemandProgress & @OpenCongress — Best of the Left Activism

You’ve reached the activism portion of today’s show. Now that you’re informed and angry, here’s what you can do about it. Today’s activism: supporting the Prescription Drug Affordability Act of 2015.

No matter your conspiracy or frustration-level with Big Pharma, everyone who’s ever filled a prescription knows the medication part of our health “care” system is seriously jacked.

To address several of the factors that spike drug prices in the U.S., Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Elijah Cummings introduced legislation last month, aptly and simply named “The Prescription Drug Affordability Act of 2015.”

The bullet points include:

  • Allowing U.S. residents to import lower-cost medications from Canada
  • Encouraging Medicare to negotiate medication prices with drugmakers — something private insurance companies do regularly, but Medicare does not
  • Requiring drug manufacturers to disclose prices for treatments they sell in other countries
  • Requiring drugmakers to submit annual reports detailing how drug prices are set — including research and development costs and such
  • And eradicating any existing market-exclusivity periods for medications that should never have been granted — i.e. that asshole you’ve heard about a ton in this episode.
  • And eradicating any existing market-exclusivity periods for medications that should never have been granted — i.e. that asshole you’ve heard about a ton in this episode.

This legislation is better than spending-neutral; it would save the federal government money and provide better access to life-saving and life-improving health care. It should be a both-sides-of-the-aisle winner. Of course, that sort of thing is mostly a pipe dream these days without significant public pressure. And that means your voice is needed.

You can click “support,” contact your legislators directly, & track the House and Senate bills through GovTrack.us. Progressive direct action group Demand Progress also has a petition in support of the legislation through the link in the segment notes — also posted on the Demand Progress social media feeds.

It’s long past time people weren’t choosing between food and medication or housing and medication or doing without treatment with the power to vastly improve every aspect of their lives. There will be plenty left for the drug manufacturers after these reforms; we’re simply asking for them to conduct their business ethically.

TAKE ACTION:

Sign the Demand Progress petition to Congress: "Tell Congress to pass Bernie Sanders's bill to rein in prescription drug costs!”

Track the legislation & contact legislators: in the Senate & in the House via GovTrack.us

Additional Activism/Resources:

Send your legislator a letter through OpenCongress.org

Episode #958 "Where the market should not be allowed to tread (Health Care)"

Written by BOTL social media/activism director Katie Klabusich


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