Americans pay the highest prescription drug prices in the world and it’s getting worse. According to the AARP, popular name-brand drugs have risen in price by more than 200% since 2008. The rising cost for life-saving medicine is why U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow says change is needed immediately. She believes we overpay at the pharmacy and presented three pieces of legislation on Thursday to help lower costs.
The first piece of legislation presented is called the Know the Lowest Price Act. It allows customers to know the cheapest price possible from their pharmacist.
“I want to make sure when somebody walks into a pharmacy, the pharmacist is free to tell them the lowest price they can pay,” says Stabenow.
This full price transparency push is something Stacey Pearl, the Administrative Director for Sparrow Pharmacy Plus says, her team wants as well.
“Pharmacists should never be prohibited from being able to talk openly and honestly about resources that are available to help make sure the patients get the medication they need for them.”
The second change Senator Stabenow wants to see is to lift the ban that prohibits Medicare to negotiate for best price. She says her Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act, would help the older community and those who are disabled the most.
The Affordable and Safe Prescription Drug Importation Act is the third piece of legislation. It allows for the importation of prescription drugs from Canada. Right now, America doesn’t allow hospitals and pharmacies to do business with our neighbor from the north — a country stocked with the same drugs, but listed at much cheaper prices. An unfair situation Senator Stabenow says is ridiculous.
“This is just a system right now that protects the companies instead of protecting the consumers.”
Senator Stabenow says she has bi-partisan support for the Know the Lowest Price Act, but does not have republican support for Medicare negotiation and importing prescriptions from Canada.