Dr. Helen Horvath

FOR CONGRESS, 50TH DISTRICT

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FEC Candidate ID:  C00717207

(c) 2019 authorized and paid for by Helen Horvath for Congress.

2127 Arnold Way, Ste 2311

Alpine, CA 91901

Phone:  619-249-1393

Email:  horvathcampaign@gmail.com

 

MEDICAL COSTS:  How much will you pay for prescription drugs?

Prescription drugs are one of the most expensive aspects for some in our healthcare budget.  Examples include Insulin that has tripled in costs and have some people driving to Canada or Mexico to get their medications.  There are many things to consider; yet, cost is at the heart of the issue.

Some costs to consider:

  1. The cost of Bavencio, a new cancer drug approved in March, is about $156,000 a year per patient.

  2. A new muscular dystrophy drug came on the market late last year for an eye-popping price of $300,000 annually.

  3. In 2016, the FDA appproved Tecentriq, a new bladder cancer treatment that costs $12,500 a month, or $150,000 a year. 

  4. The cost of insulin tripled between 2002 and 2013, despite no notable changes in the formulation or manufacturing process.

When working within the healthcare system, doctors hands are tied based upon several factors. These include how the drug companies market their medications and how the prescription drug costs are worked out in order to have access to the medication through the formulary.

Remember that the healthcare system is very fragmented and the silver bullet to resolve the high costs of prescriptions drugs does not exist in our free market system. 

 

To lower the cost of prescription drugs, the following recommendations should be negotiated in Congress:

 

  1. Examine and modify drug patent laws – stop the extension of drug patents based upon slight twists to the original formulation.

  2. Create Congressional authorization to utilize negotiations to lower drug costs.

  3. Utilize the VA’s model of negotiating for prescriptions drugs – VA currently pays 80% less than Medicare Part D.  Develop a similar formulary of accepted drugs within Medicare and Medicaid/Medi-Cal. (reduce expenditures).

  4. Revise the final agreed upon healthcare program to include:

  5. Utilizing the federal government’s purchasing power to negotiate lower prices for medicare through legislation.

  6. Creating sound legislation that stops drug companies from paying generic drug manufacturers from bringing generic, less expensive equivalents to the market place.

  7. Create legislation that will permit the importation of screened and tested alternative medications that are available in Europe and other global regions.  (i.e. Australia testing migraine medications from USA).

  8. Creating a maximum out of pocket cap for medicare enrollees.

  9. Working with the Food and Drug Administration, create legislation that improve research and innovation in the pharmaceutical industry to bring drugs to market faster.  Currently turn around is about 10 years; yet, current laws do not keep up with the use of technology – i.e. artificial intelligence – to expedite drugs coming to market.

  10. Understanding the cost and procedures to development of prescription drugs is critical prior to creating a systemic change nationally. 

  11. Implement changes to the prescription drug market by creating accountability for extremely high drug costs.