Like many Oregonians, we’re increasingly concerned about extraordinary increases in prescription drug prices. You probably saw the headlines last year about the 500% price hike for EpiPen, but did you know that even once-affordable drugs like insulin have more than tripled in price in recent years?1,2 When prices skyrocket like this for drugs we’re all paying for through our health insurance premiums and our tax dollars, we think the least consumers deserve is an explanation.
That’s why we’re calling on Oregon lawmakers to pass legislation to help bring down patient costs, require prescription drug corporations to explain their pricing practices, hold drug companies accountable for unreasonable prices, and disclose their prices to consumers in their advertisements.3,4,5
Rising prescription drug costs are a burden on all Oregonians—not just the patients who depend upon expensive specialty drugs—through rising health insurance premiums, rising costs for Oregon businesses and a growing burden on state and federal budgets. And our tax dollars fund much of the basic research that leads to cures.
Why are drug prices rising so fast, even for medications that have been on the market for decades? We just don’t know. But since we’re all picking up the tab, we think Oregonians deserve an explanation.
Unfortunately, lobbyists from the pharmaceutical industry are working hard to preserve the status quo and prevent increased transparency and accountability for their industry. They’re lobbying hard in Salem to keep us in the dark and prevent any challenge to their pricing practices. But this is such a no-brainer that we’re sure we can win with enough public support.
OSPIRG Policy Director
1. Toni Clarke, U.S. lawmakers blast Mylan CEO over ‘sickening’ EpiPen price hikes, Reuters, Sep 21, 2016.
2. Ben Popken, Is Insulin the New EpiPen? Families Facing Sticker Shock Over 400 Percent Price Hike, Nbcnews.com, November 2, 2016.
3. HB 2387, 79th Oregon Legislative Assembly, 2017.
4. SB 792, 79th Oregon Legislative Assembly, 2017.
5. SB 793, 79th Oregon Legislative Assembly, 2017.
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