Now and then we will find common grounds with our enemies and work to a better solution. Republicans and Democrats have very seldom worked together for something better. Imagine a world if they did this every time and listened to the morals and reality of the conservatives. There are not many but a few Democrats who have morals for what is best for the country and the American citizens. There is no argument from either side that prescription drugs are outstanding in price.
Pharmaceuticals benefit from both the federal funding on research and the profit from outrageous prices on medicines some people need to stay alive and function. Two Senators are working to change what we call “double-dipping” and flat out ripping people off.
Senator Rick Scott, a Republican from Florida, and Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland are working together on a bipartisan bill to have pharmaceuticals to stop ripping people off on the drugs they sell or face severe penalties. The new bill proposed, stated companies who receive funding for research from the National Institutes of Health and any other federal agencies must follow the new pricing restrictions or else. Van Hollen told Vox, “The idea is straightforward. Taxpayers invested in finding cures and treatments and therefore, taxpayers should have a say in what the prices are.”
The legislation accepted the “We PAID Act,” and it is the most recent attempt from Washington to force lower prices on prescription drugs. Though it does not work for every drug, it is a huge start to fixing the problem. Van Hollen figured around 20 to 25 percent of the drugs which go on sale after the bill is passed would be forced to comply. The drugs already on the market would not be affected at this time, but it opens the door for the lawmakers to push for more reductions in medicine.
For example, some of the medicines which are highly needed for the public with certain illnesses and diseases are Humira and Enbrel. Humira is for adults who face Crohn’s disease, and Enbrel treats autoimmune diseases. Humira alone comes in according to the New York Times at $38,000 a year which is outrageous and more than what most middle-class people make in a year.
Hollen and Scott’s bill can be pushed forward and make both parties look good for a better fixture by jerking back on the reigns of the Big Pharma. It is a topic which has been seeking attention for decades and will force both parties to put their differences aside and fix the problem.
The U.S. has some of the most expensive prescription drug cost in the world. This bill, along with others, is making their way up the chains to put an end to drug companies who love to “double-dip” into taxpayers hard-earned money. Those who have patents and who are tied in with the NIH research program would be forced to offer reasonable prices to those who need the medication. It covers patents from private companies and those funded by the federal government alike. Individuals who hold patents will also fall under this category if they have “government support.”
Studies will be performed by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. It will compare the prices from all over the world, the cost of distribution, and how much money was invested in the research. There will also be a committee put in place called the Drug Affordability and Access Committee to oversee and enforce the rule. The committee will determine the price, and no other market can tamper with the cost. Inflation would be taken into consideration in which only the committee can determine.
Van Hollen told Vox, “We want to make sure that this was not stacked by industry people. Presently, it’s still slightly unclear how much lower the reasonable list price would be than a company’s existing price, but the process to arrive at that figure is intended to be a transparent one.”
The penalties for not abiding by the rules will be, companies will lose their rights to sell the drug altogether. Plus, they will lose their license and barred from any advancements in the medicine sold. They will also no longer receive federal fundings.
Because it is a bipartisan bill, Congress will move quickly to make it law, and the Senate is already in favor. Oh if only Democrats could work like this. What a wonderful world this would become.