If enacted, this legislation will reduce price-gouging by requiring manufacturers to have some skin in the game when covering Medicare Part D expenses. The bill will also keep drug price increases below the rate of inflation, cap out-of-pocket costs for seniors, support competition in the healthcare marketplace and boost transparency. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the solutions outlined in the legislation will save patients and taxpayers more than $130 billion.
To see these protections come to fruition, Georgia patients are counting on our elected leaders. When the House of Representatives votes on similar legislation in the coming weeks, we will need the continued support of our representatives, including Rep. Lucy McBath, who have already committed to standing up to Big Pharma. We will also need the help of Sen. David Perdue, who can make a clear statement that he favors lower drug prices by joining the White House in publicly endorsing the Grassley-Wyden plan, and working with his colleagues to see the bill pass in the Senate.
But time is running out; with just weeks left in the legislative year, hundreds of thousands of Georgians cannot afford further delay. Congress should put partisan squabbles aside and act swiftly to pass these drug pricing reforms into law. I, like millions of patients in Georgia and around the country living with epilepsy, will be watching closely to see if our elected officials in Washington can deliver.
Aly Clift is the executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia.