Washington (March 12, 2020) – President Trump announced a new pilot project to cap insulin costs at $35 a month for people with diabetes participating in Medicare Part D. However, the proposed initiative is voluntary for drug makers and insurers and includes no controls on prices or negotiating power.
Statement from Margarida Jorge, campaign director for Lower Drug Prices Now:
“This proposal does nothing to make drug corporations lower prices. Capping costs is not lowering prices — it just shifts who pays. Thanks to their monopoly power, drug corporations can continue to charge more and more for vital medications, while taxpayers foot the bill for Big Pharma’s price gouging.
“We need to solve the bigger crisis: Drug corporations’ monopolies enable them to charge whatever they want for any brand name drug—not just insulin. Big Pharma hiked the prices on over 600 drugs in January, and drug prices are rising at three times the rate of inflation. The Trump administration’s refusal to guarantee coronavirus drugs developed with public funding will be affordable adds insult to injury – Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, a former drug company executive, cares more about protecting monopoly profits than public health.
“There’s no incentive for drug corporations and insurers to join Trump’s insulin initiative. We already know that drug corporations prioritize profit over people – that’s how we got these skyrocketing prices in the first place.
“If Trump were serious about lowering drug prices, he would support giving Medicare the power to negotiate (as in the House-passed H.R. 3 bill) and take action to curb Big Pharma’s monopoly power. This proposal is another gimmick to preserve the status quo and protect drug corporations’ profits while pandering to seniors.”