Here’s some things to mull over while sipping your first (or tenth) Pumpkin Spiced Latte!

Terry’s Hot Take is a monthly resource for lawmakers by the Executive Director of Patients Rising, on behalf of the 133 million Americans (one-third of Americans!) living with chronic disease.

  • Direct Impacts to Patients in Government Funding bill, BIF and More: Patients Rising NOW and its members are urging Congress to remember the impact their votes have on patients’ ability to afford and access critical treatments:
    • CR – Fund public health programs and COVID-19 relief.
    • Infrastructure – Protect rebates for Medicare Part D and patients at the point-of-sale and reject the rebate rule delay.
    • Reconciliation – Protect innovation for rare disease patients, keep the Orphan Drug Tax Credit intact and support future critical medical innovation by rejecting H.R. 3.
  • Biden’s Plan to Reduce Prescription Drug Prices: What Patients & Congress Need to Know: The Biden Administration plan to address drug prices, released September 9, 2021, will have significant negative consequences for patients.
    • Patients Rising strongly believes that to reduce healthcare burdens and lower patient costs at the pharmacy counter, lawmakers must address every part of the process, and all the parts that pocket the cash, including pharmacy benefit managers and health insurance.
    • Patients Rising NOW has published a policy platform designed to create a healthcare system that empowers patients, advances medical innovation and reforms healthcare finance. We also encourage proactive support for legislation Congress should act on today:
      • Safe Step Act of 2021, which aims to improve step therapy protocols and ensure patients can safely and efficiently access the best treatment for them
      • Improving Seniors’ Timely Access to Care Act of 2021, which would help protect patients from unnecessary delays in care by streamlining and standardizing the prior authorization program in Medicare Advantage.
      • Better Empowerment Now to Enhance Framework and Improve Treatments (BENEFIT) Act of 2021, which would require the FDA to consider patient experience and patient-focused drug development data as part of the benefit/risk assessment of a new drug.
  • Barriers to Non-Opioid Drugs: Advocacy With Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services:Medicare Part B requires patients without supplemental coverage to pay a 20% copay on all charges with no maximum out of pocket cost threshold. Many Americans with chronic disease and many members of the Patients Rising community need pain relief therapies in their care plan.
    • Action Requested: Patients Rising Now supports the bipartisan regulatory push to waive the 20% copay in Medicare Part B for non-opioid pain management drugs. At this time, there is only one of these medications in Medicare Part B, which is why we are including the exact name of the medication being discussed.
  • Voices Across America: Patient Stories Patients Rising Now invites you to explore patient stories in your congressional district. Our tool allows you to examine topics by district or access to care and affordability issues. Please be sure to share this resource with your local offices to encourage constituents to share their Stories.
  • Patients Rising Podcast: A biosimilar solution could be an answer to the debate on how to lower healthcare costs. In our recent Biosimilars Can Lower Costs episode, we speak with Brian Lehman, Director of Patient Advocacy at Sandoz to explain how biosimilars play a role in patient care and results in cost savings for the U.S. healthcare system.
    • The head of policy at Sandoz, Mary Jo Carden lays out the policy actions to boost biosimilar use.
    • We hear from patient correspondent Dorothea Lantz from Florida, Congressional District 27 (30:30). Her four-year-old son, Hunter, lives with a rare disease, Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS). Section 138141 of the Build Back Better Act would remove key tax credit incentives for research and development of orphan drugs, leaving the rare disease community with less hope for groundbreaking treatments and therapies.
    • Other September weekly episodes:
    • Patients Rising Podcast is published every Friday to update patients on issues in Washington that affect them. Each week patients are interviewed on policy challenges associated with managing and treating their disease, along with lawmakers and experts on the latest health policy issues, legal help for patients, and more.

Every month I hope to add value to your inbox by providing a look at legislation and regulation through the patient lens. If Patients Rising can be of assistance to your office, please reach out to me directly via twilcox@patientsrising.org or at 202-750-4331.

Take care,

Terry