During this legislative session, Minnesota lawmakers are considering the passage of a bill to create a PRESCRIPTION DRUG AFFORDABILITY BOARD (PDAB) and pharmaceutical corporations are doing everything they can to stop it.
On Friday, April 14, an amendment was passed on the Senate Floor that would exclude rare disease drugs, as well as any drug that has been on the market for less than seven years, from ever being subject to the Prescription Drug Affordability Board. This amendment essentially guts PDAB’s ability to address prescription drug affordability in Minnesota.
Our state representatives will be voting on the House Commerce Omnibus (PDAB included) sometime later THIS WEEK. We must encourage them to pass PDAB WITH NO AMENDMENTS!
For too long, pharmaceutical corporations have legally been allowed to price-gouge when it comes to medicine, driving up costs at the pharmacy and across our entire healthcare system.
To address this, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison formed an Advisory Task Force on Lowering Pharmaceutical Drug Prices. This Task Force, formed in 2019, brought together patients, healthcare professionals, bipartisan lawmakers, providers, and experts to identify solutions to the high cost of prescription drugs. It released a nationally awarded 100-page report that identified 14 key policy issues. A Prescription Drug Affordability Board was at the top of that list.
“No one should have to choose between affording their medications and affording to live.”
— Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison
It’s time we had a watchdog to keep pharmaceutical corporations in check, and that’s just what we’ll have if Minnesota creates a Prescription Drug Affordability Board. PDAB will act like the Public Utilities Board and be a check on the monopoly power of pharmaceutical companies by setting upper payment limits (UPL) for high-cost drugs.
For years, our member-leaders on the Land Stewardship Project Healthcare Steering Committee have been working to expand access to affordable and usable healthcare. In 2020, we had a virtual town hall with the Minnesota Attorney General to discuss what we could do together to reach this shared goal. He strongly suggested we work toward passing a Prescription Drug Affordability Board. This session, we have the chance to do that.
Most prescription drugs are developed through taxpayer-funded research, yet Americans pay more for these drugs at the pharmacy. Our current system works well for the industry’s profit-generating stakeholders, but it’s certainly not working well for patients. Even if you aren’t on a high-cost drug, we all pay the price for drug companies’ greed through higher costs for premiums, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs.
Prescription drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them. Don’t hesitate to take action. E-mail or call your legislators TODAY and tell them to pass the proposal creating a Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB) WITH NO AMENDMENTS, EXCLUSIONS, OR DELAYS!
LSP is a part of a broad coalition of organizations that support PDAB, including ISAIAH, MN Nurses Association, TakeAction MN, SEIU, Faith in Minnesota, AARP, The Mainstreet Alliance, and the Committee To Protect Healthcare. To sign our PDAF petition, click here.
Elected officials need to hear our stories. We’ll use them to elevate this issue with lawmakers and advocate for PDAB. You can share your story by clicking here.