Plymouth Listening Session Addresses Soaring Prescription Drug Costs
U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips highlighted the rising costs of prescription drugs during a listening session on Sunday. Phillips joined residents impacted by drug prices at Allina Health WestHealth Pharmacy.
Among the attendees was Nikki Foster of Brooklyn Park. She lives with multiple sclerosis and depends on costly medicine to manage her condition.
“The cost of those drugs have gone up so much in the last 26 years,” Foster said. “The first disease modifying therapy was introduced in 1993. The cost of that was less than $20,000. Today, the median cost for an MS drug is $89,000. So that is very troubling to me.”
The U.S. House approved legislation last week that would allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. The legislation now rests with the U.S. Senate. Phillips says he’s heard from many constituents who say the cost unfairness must stop.
“We’re doing what people have asked us to do, which is finally take on an industry that has not been very helpful and in a country where we’re paying multiples of what any other country in the world pays for their important pharmaceutical drugs.
“Right now, many know, you can go to Canada, and buy the exact same insulin in Canada that costs $300 here, for $30 across the border. It’s wrong and it’s got to come to an end,” Phillips said.
According to legislative research, U.S. drug prices are nearly four times higher compared to other first-world countries.