Sunday, March 29, 2015

Affordable Care Act may soon give us lower drug prices.

There are many little known benefits packed into the Affordable Care Act that never get the attention they should. One major change that will again lower the health care cost increases will also save lives.

Drug prices are driving up the cost of health care. The profit margins are huge, and thanks to GOP efforts, they're protected from competition by laws meant to increase bottom lines but hurt Americans. Medicare Part D cannot negotiate prices, a gift from George W. Bush and the Republican majority.

Despite the GOP's inability to name one country that proves "free market" health care works by lowering prices, they're hell bent on experimenting nationwide on our most vulnerable Americans.  

Obama’s Affordable Care Act made changes that to some extent will lower the cost of drugs:
AARP applauds the FDA’s approval of the first biosimilar prescription drug product in the U.S. It is a welcome step toward a workable approval process that will provide consumers with much-needed access to safe, effective biosimilar drugs, as envisioned by the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act in the Affordable Care Act. Today’s announcement marks the beginning of what will be a robust market that will offer consumers access to lower-cost alternatives to very expensive biologic medicines. Biologic drugs are often used to treat health conditions that affect older populations – diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Derived from living organisms, biologics have an estimated average cost of $35,000 a year, which is far more than that of traditional, chemically derived drugs.
But Big Pharm has been out there lobbying on a statewide level to block cheaper drugs from cutting into their profits. They're doing it by oddly making the party of supposed smaller deregulated government, bigger and more regulated. Republicans are more than willing to embrace big everything if it coincides with increased donations:
New state legislation that would make substituting interchangeable biosimilars for brand-name biologics considerably more difficult (druggist/doctor approval). It is unclear, however, why extra precautions are needed for biosimilars when the FDA is already safely approving and regulating their brand-name counterparts.
Republicans are good at throwing everything against the wall, hoping most of it will stick, but that also helps distract Americans from noticing the smaller things.

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