Prescription Drugs and Medicare

Drug Pricing in America

This blog is a follow-up to a recent blog I wrote on drug pricing in America. It seems that people are starting to notice just how high drug prices have increased in recent years. It is this insurance broker’s option that we need a real fix now. Too many Americans are suffering from illnesses where the proper medications are the solution, but you must choose between eating or taking the medications. Not something we should have to deal with in America.

A recent article pointed out that 8 states are establishing PDAB which stands for Prescription Drug Affordability Board which monitors drug pricing and sets limits on drug pricing. Those 8 states are Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon, Ohio, Colorado, Washington, and Minnesota. Wish more states would start instituting these boards to help Americans pay for drugs.

While this is all well and good, the real issue is Big Pharma sells their medications that were developed here all over the world for less than they do in America. Congress isn’t doing anything because Big Pharma gives many Congresses people campaign money, so they feel beholding to Big Pharma and allow this situation to continue.

It’s a very simple solution and each of us should send letters to our Congress people to pass one bill that simply states that Big Pharma cannot sell their drugs in America for more than the average price they sell it elsewhere. Simple yet Congress cannot get together to solve this dilemma for suffering Americans. As a Medicare broker, I meet with seniors daily and find that many cannot afford their medications while others eat less so they can pay for their medications. This should not be happening here in America.

The truth is Big Pharma is making so much money in America that they simply don’t care. The proof is many pharmaceutical manufacturers offer price reduction coupons for expensive medications. I have dealt with this in the past and was not able to get coupons to reduce the price of the medication.

Many of you who read my blogs know I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and at the time was just turning 65 and on Embrel. I was paying $10 per month for Embrel which was priced at $1800. I called the manufacturer and asked if I could still get their coupons once I went on Medicare. Their answer shocked me. Was told that it was illegal to provide those coupons once I went onto Medicare. Had no choice but to accept their answer but it made me mad and made no sense.

Did some further investigations and found out that what they were telling me was pure BS. Not willing to take on Big Pharma by myself, my doctor and I discussed this and moved me to another medication. Embrel at the time was the best medication for me but because I went onto Medicare the price coupons were no longer available. There is something wrong with this and Congress needs to stop bickering on all issues and come together and fix this mess. As new drugs are invented and sold, their pricing continues to rise and the average person can no longer afford to buy them.

We need a grassroots effort by as many Americans as possible to reach out to our representatives in Congress and get them to institute new laws prohibiting Big Pharma from selling their medications elsewhere in the world for less than they do here in America. It will be a long hard-fought battle, but it needs to happen for all Americans. Please write to your Congress people and demand action. Simply go online look up your representative and send them a letter demanding action to reduce drug pricing in America.

My contact information is listed below. Let me know that you contacted your Congress person and what they said about the suggestion to fix this growing problem for all Americans. I will publish your results, but you will remain anonymous.

I hope this information is useful and if anyone has questions, please contact me via phone or email and I will respond quickly.

Also, if you need Medicare information, take a look at Medicare 2024 Information.

The Barend Agency

The Barend Agency Inc.

Len Barend, Broker