The Endocrine Society continues to lead advocacy efforts focused on lowering the cost of diabetes medication. The Society has weighed in on recent congressional and administration activity regarding legislation and regulations aimed at lowering the price of prescription drugs.
In May, the House Energy & Commerce Health subcommittee conducted a hearing on legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs. The Endocrine Society submitted a statement to the subcommittee calling on Congress to pass legislation to make prescription drugs more affordable. Our statement also highlighted the high price of insulin as an urgent issue that needs to be addressed. The hearing focused on H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act and other legislation to lower prescription drug prices. H.R. 3, which was recently re-introduced in the House of Representatives, is comprehensive legislation which aims to lower the cost of prescription drugs and protect patient access to their medications. In April, the Society released a statement applauding the re-introduction of H.R. 3 which includes recommendations proposed in the Society’s position statement on insulin access and affordability. Specifically, H.R. 3 would allow for the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate for better prescription drug prices and includes a provision to cap out-of-pocket costs on prescription drugs at $2,000 per year for Medicare beneficiaries.
The Society also met with staff of Vice President Kamala Harris to learn more about the Administration’s plans to address drug pricing and offer the Society as a resource. Currently, the vice president is charged with working with Senators to develop a proposal that would get support in that chamber. As this issue of Endocrine News went to press, no clear plan had emerged. The administration is also exploring how it might lower drug costs through regulation and/or executive orders.
The Society will continue to advocate for lowering the cost of prescription drugs including insulin. We are planning to conduct a virtual Hill Day in July to advocate for lower prescription drug prices and other clinical issues.