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Letter: Congress Should Pass the DRUG Act

Alameda Post - Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:

Patients struggling with their health should not have to deal with the predatory practices of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) getting between them and the care they need. As someone living with spinal muscular atrophy, I’m hopeful of receiving innovative drugs on the market. Thankfully, the development of these medications is protected through patents and other tools, but unfortunately, patients’ access to these drugs is not.

That’s why I’m still frustrated that Congress failed to pass PBM reform last year, especially when several bipartisan options were on the table. Our elected officials in Washington need to do more to rein in PBMs and fix the problems they’ve created for patients. They can do that by passing the Delinking Revenue from Unfair Gouging (DRUG) Act.

The bipartisan DRUG Act would help increase PBM transparency and accountability. Among other things, it would help ensure the discounts and rebates that PBMs secure from drug manufacturers make their way down to patients to help lower out-of-pocket costs at the pharmacy. It would also address policies that force patients to purchase higher-cost medications when lower-cost alternatives could work just as well.

California’s congressional delegation should push their colleagues on both sides of the aisle to take up and pass the DRUG Act before the end of the year. Patients have waited long enough, and the threats PBMs pose to patient access and costs have only gotten worse.

Annie Wilson,
Alameda


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