Lowered Drug Prices Can’t Come at the Cost of Innovation or Safety

9.1.20

In our mission to fight patient discrimination and support people living with chronic disease by advocating for fair drug prices, the Chronic Disease Coalition has been closely following directives from President Trump that aim to confront prescription drug costs. On July 24, the president signed executive orders intended to address prescription drugs costs, expand drug importation and eliminate certain drug rebates.

While the Chronic Disease Coalition supports the intention to lower drug costs, we hold concerns around unintended effects of these orders and ask that a different approach be taken. In addressing issues where considerations around affordability, accessibility, safety and innovation meet, we must keep in mind that complex matters cannot be met with simple solutions.

The executive orders require federal agencies to regulate the creation of an international pricing index, an increase in the importation of prescription drugs, the elimination of certain drug rebates and the requirement of federally qualified health centers to pass on to patients discounts on insulin and epinephrine through Medicare’s 340B Drug Discount Program.

Before moving forward, we urge the Administration to consider ways to offer the intended benefits of these orders while mitigating potential risks.

Hope for chronic disease patients is dependent on biotechnology. Patients deserve access to innovative medicines that are safe, and these executive orders could inhibit that. We cannot implement proposals that promise lower drug costs, when in reality, the costs are directly shifted to patients.

The Chronic Disease Coalition urges the Administration support drug pricing legislation that has been introduced on both sides of the aisle. This legislation would propel us forward toward appropriate restructuring, instead of relying on federal agencies’ regulation to do what we already know is not working for Americans, especially those living with chronic disease.

Scott Bruun

Executive Director

Chronic Disease Coalition