PFCD’s ongoing advertisements elevate patient voices on oversights of current legislative proposals on truly lowering health care costs
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 18, 2021) – The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) today announced a new round of television and digital advertising that focus on the harm of access for patients in Canada and other countries, and why it’s important that U.S. policymakers recognize the challenges of moving forward with such restrictive proposals in an effort to lower costs.
The partnership released the following statement in conjunction with the launch of the latest ads:
“Since founding the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease nearly 15 years ago, we have worked consistently on a wide variety of issues with our partners in support of policies that address the increasing human and cost burden of chronic disease in America. Unfortunately, current legislative proposals aimed at implementing a Medicare price setting policy will directly interfere with patients’ access to much needed treatment and will ultimately create an even greater burden for our already ailing health care system.
PFCD’s efforts have been focused on programs that promote access to help people avoid illness altogether, reduce the many associated risks of chronic illness, and better manage illness effectively to avoid progression. This includes supporting policies that protect America’s seniors uninterrupted access to medicines that prevent and manage chronic diseases and opposing policies that threaten access today and innovation tomorrow.
We strongly support legislative intentions to cap Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs for medicines under Medicare Part D. The patient voices being shared in our current advertising campaign project PFCD’s stance on the following related issues:
- Current legislative proposals suggest basing drug prices on international reference pricing, including pricing in Canada, which in turn relies on the quality-adjusted life year – a discriminatory measure of value that assumes that treating older people, people living with a disability, and people with one or more chronic conditions has less value than treating a person who is more likely to be restored to perfect health by whatever treatment is being considered. That’s a serious problem and not something we can, or have ever, supported.
- One proposal also involves a tax of up to 95% if a company does not accept the government’s price based on these international comparisons. That’s not negotiation, and we have serious concerns about the impact on research and development today and innovation tomorrow. As the pandemic continues to show us, having a responsive, robust biomedical innovation sector is critically important to preserving health now and for future generations.
- The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has noted that significant cost savings beyond what health plans already achieve for Medicare would involve limiting access such as Medicare adopting a national formulary. That drastically would limit choices for beneficiaries and means higher out-of-pocket costs for drugs that are not on the national formulary. Currently, beneficiaries have an average of 40-50 different Part D plans to choose from in their state. This poses problems for both patients and their providers who are working to provide quality, comprehensive care to achieve the best possible health outcomes. PFCD has long advocated to prioritize medication adherence for the benefit of patients and there are legislative reforms that could protect that.
While this public awareness campaign does not assume the support of all our partners it does address important issues of which many PFCD partners have long stood in support. PFCD continues to actively engage on ways to lower health care costs – those efforts predominantly focus on individual impact – lowering out of pocket costs, reducing access hurdles – and on population health improvement – prevention, addressing social determinants of health, promoting equity in access and outcomes, supporting early diagnosis, disease management to reduce progression, and more, all of which are important priorities for our partners.”
The patient perspectives highlighted in PFCD’s advertisements can viewed at www.youtube.com/ThePFCD.
The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is an international coalition of patient, provider, community, business and labor groups, and health policy experts, committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability and rising health care costs: chronic disease.