A “War on Drugs” is taking place in the U.S., but it’s not what you think.
The “war” in question is being fought between some Republican legislators and Big Pharma, and not by drug cartels and the federal government,
Lawmakers like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R), who both met with President Trump to discuss rising healthcare costs, are pushing for the importation of less expensive prescription drugs to help ease the rising healthcare costs on Americans.
DeSantis recently pledged to bring home lower drug costs.
“One of the biggest drivers of this country’s out of control healthcare spending is the cost of prescription drugs,” said Governor DeSantis. “While our prices remain high, our neighbors in Canada are spending significantly less for the same drugs. These price disparities are indefensible and inexcusable and I am ready to act.”
Yesterday, following a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on the rising costs of prescription drugs, Florida Senator Rick Scott pointed to his Transparent Drug Pricing Act , a bill that he and Senator Hawley introduced to address the cost of prescription drugs in the U.S.
“What was clear from today’s hearing is that there is no good explanation for why American consumers pay more for prescription drugs than consumers in Canada, Europe and Japan," said Scott. "My bill that I introduced with Senator Hawley puts American consumers first. It would prevent drug companies from charging us more than they charge patients in other countries. I’m sick and tired of my constituents subsidizing European countries so they can keep prices low for their constituents. The system needs to change."
Scott’s bill has three major components. Here is how they read:
- PRICE TRANSPARENCY
Pharmacies MUST inform patients what it would cost to purchase drugs out-of-pocket instead of using their insurance and co-pay. If patients choose to pay out-of-pocket (which is often cheaper), the total cost would be applied to their deductible. Consumers should not be penalized for shopping for the best price. And they must get this information at the point of sale.
Insurance companies MUST inform patients of the total costs of their prescription drugs 60 days prior to open enrollment. This will allow patients to be consumers and shop around for the best deal. Once those costs are set, they cannot be changed for a full 12 months. This will give patients – particularly seniors living on a fixed income – confidence that their drug costs won’t suddenly increase.
Drug companies CANNOT charge American consumers more for prescription drugs than they charge consumers in other industrialized nations like Great Britain, Canada or Germany. There is no reason why U.S. pharmaceutical companies sell drugs to people in foreign countries far cheaper than what they charge Americans.This provision would sunset after 5 years.
Scott doesn’t appear to be calling for cheaper Canadian drugs, rather calling on U.S. drug companies to sell their drugs at the same discounted price they offer to foreigners.
U.S. pharmaceutical companies are pushing back, and have recently launched a massive nationwide ad campaign questioning the potency and safety concerns of foreign prescription drugs.