LETTERS: Support policies to lower drug costs

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Editor: As long as drug corporations have the power to set prices without any accountability for their price-gouging, they will always put profits over people. Take insulin for example. It is a lifesaving medication for people with diabetes. However, its cost has nearly tripled in the past fifteen years. This falls even harder on the Latinx community who are more likely than the general population to develop diabetes. It is estimated that 2.5 million, or 10.4 percent of Latinx people aged 20 and older have diabetes.

Colorado was one of the first states to cap the price of insulin at $100 per month and many other federal programs negotiate and as a result pay less for certain drugs. It’s long past time to do the same in Medicare and make medicines more affordable for those that need them. Let’s remember that Medicaid is aimed at meeting the health needs of our elders and people with disabilities.

As we continue to see policies aimed at rebuilding the economy and supporting families while dealing with rising cases of COVID and sluggish economic recovery following the first year of the pandemic, it is essential that we do all we can to support people in getting the care they need. We know that closing gaps in healthcare improves health outcomes, improves the financial stability of individuals and saves money!

The Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, a key proposal in Congress, would not only lower drug prices for Medicare recipients, but also benefit people with private insurance. It would save employers $256 billion between 2023 to 2029, including a reduction of $61 billion in employees’ share of premiums and cost sharing. I hope people will join me in urging support of this and other policies that help to reduce drug costs and better meet the health needs of our communities.

— Katherine Riley, via [email protected]

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