As Congress continues to consider the Build Back Better Act, meaningful drug pricing reform, including a provision allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices, is within our grasp.
However, major pharmaceutical companies are still working to undermine the bill, and Arizonans are counting on Sen. Kyrsten Sinema to lower drug prices by ensuring the Build Back Better Act passes with the current provision intact.
To intimidate seniors and Arizona voters, false narratives on TV and in print are claiming Medicare negotiation will completely halt the innovation of new drugs and reduce access to prescription medication. But that’s simply not the case.
The Build Back Better Act will reward pharmaceutical companies for innovative new drugs by letting them set initial list prices and awarding them up to 13 years without competitors on the market or being subject to price negotiation with the government.
The proposal also includes clinical efficacy as one of the inputs for determining fair negotiated prices, which will allow the federal government to further reward innovative drugs.
Arizonans need relief from the high prices of prescription drugs, and the drug pricing provision as it’s currently written will deliver relief felt by all Americans with prescription drugs and allow many Americans to finally afford the life-saving medication they need.
I hope Sen. Sinema will continue to fight hard for seniors and all her constituents by working to pass the Build Back Better Act with the drug pricing provisions as currently written.
Editor’s note: Shannon Pendleton is a health care professional and traveling nurse from Arizona.
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