Leaders from the MPN medical community take on the high cost of cancer drugs

August 6, 2015

On July 28th we shared a story on Facebook about an initiative including dozens of blood cancer thought leaders who joined together to support a petition to lower the cost of cancer drugs. An article in Mayo Clinic Proceedings requests a patient-initiated drive to reduce the costs of cancer drugs included reasonable solutions that could work with market forces to ensure that companies would still endeavor to make drugs, while also protecting the consumer (all can be read at the petition here):

  1. Allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices by removing all current legal restrictions. Allow Medicare to have the same right to negotiate drug prices as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs now enjoys;
  2. Allow the importation of cancer drugs across U.S. borders, for personal use. Prices in Canada are sometimes close to fifty percent less than what we pay for the exact same cancer drugs in the United States;
  3. Enact and sign into law, new federal legislation that prevents drug companies from delaying access to generic drugs (“Pay-for-Delay”) and extending the life of drug patents (Patent “Evergreening”);
  4. Create a post FDA drug approval mechanism/organization/group/ concerned parties (that include the strong voice of patients and their advocates) to estimate/propose a fair price for the new treatment, based on its value to patients and health care;
  5. Allow organizations such as the PCORI – the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (nonprofit, nongovernmental organization located in Washington, DC. created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) to include drug prices in their assessments of the value of drugs and treatments;
  6. Request nonprofit organizations that represent cancer specialists and their patients - such as ASCO, ASH, ACS, LLS, and NCCN - develop guidelines to incorporate prices of drugs relative to treatment value

As an organization for patients, by patients, the MPN Research Foundation stands behind this initiative. Please consider taking action today by signing the petition, sharing via Twitter (tag @MPN_RF and @StopHighRxCosts). The Change.org petition can be read and signed here: http://chn.ge/1DCWT1

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