BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. – The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP) hosted a discussion on Wednesday about rising prescription drug prices and common-sense solutions to fix the broken prescription drug market. Dillon Mayor Kevin Burns and Molly Lee, a nurse practitioner at the Care Clinic, led the discussion and were joined by a variety of local community members.
Throughout the country, patients have been increasingly raising awareness of rising prescription drug prices which have increased dramatically. Prescription spending is growing faster than any other part of the health care dollar. Four of the top 10 prescription drugs in the United States have increased in price by more than 100 percent since 2011.
In addition, a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows Republican and Democrat voters agree on the most important healthcare priority for a new president and Congress: making prescription drugs affordable for those that need them. Ranking a close second and also with bipartisan agreement is the need for government to take action to lower drug prices.
Burns spoke about possible solutions, including honest and open pricing by drug companies and speeding up the approval of generic drugs to provide for more competition and to give patients additional choices. He also spoke about the need for Congress to taken action to fix this problem.
Lee shared first-hand accounts of how rising prescription drug prices are negatively affecting her patients’ health. “I became a nurse practitioner to help people. It is absolutely heartbreaking to see, almost on a daily basis, my patients forced to choose between paying for their medication or paying their rent,” said Lee.
Summit County Commissioner Thomas Davidson has also expressed concern about this issue stating, “High prescription drug prices are affecting healthcare costs and putting life-saving medications out of the reach of many Coloradans. I hope Congress will take up this issue during the next session in an effort to quickly address this problem.”
Following the discussion, speakers heard from patients who shared personal stories about high prescription drug prices. One individual spoke about his experience with a blood pressure medication, explaining that every time he goes to pick it up at the pharmacy the price is always different, which prevents him from being able to budget for the monthly medication price.