WASHINGTON, DC – A quarter of older Americans say it is difficult to afford prescription drugs.
One of the reasons, according to AARP, is that the price has increased dramatically over the past decade.
From 2006 to 2020, according to their analysis, the prices of 65 brand name drugs increased by about 276%.
“We can all agree that prescription drugs are expensive in this country,” President Joe Biden said during a White House event on the issue earlier this week.
Biden is hoping his Build Back Better plan will be passed by Congress to fix the problem.
A big change concerns the possibility of price negotiation.
Currently, Medicare officials cannot negotiate the prices of drugs for their beneficiaries.
However, the Build Back Better plan, which could be voted on by Christmas in the Senate, would allow some price negotiation.
Democrats believe it will lower the cost of prescriptions for Americans.
SAVINGS TAKE TIME
However, it will take time for the savings to reach Americans.
The president’s grand plan allows only 10 drugs to be negotiated initially.
The first negotiations will not take place until 2025.
Newly launched drugs would not be eligible for trading and at lower prices.
President Biden’s plan also calls for reimbursable drug costs to be capped at $ 2,000 for those on Medicare Part D.
However, these savings will not start until 2024, according to the latest text of the bill.
Could this big change in Congress have a negative impact on science?
Ed Haislmaier thinks so. Haislmaier is a policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
“It could limit the search,” Haislmaier said.
He argues that the threat of declining profits for drug companies could limit research and development of newer, more effective drugs for older Americans.
“Every time you work in this field you take a big risk,” he added. “You must have the potential for a big payoff.”
For the millions of Americans struggling to pay the bills, any relief is welcome.