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Time to make drugs more affordable for New Mexicans

Kurt Rager (Director, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry), Erik Lujan (Board President, Health Action New Mexico) | 7/4/2021 | Albuquerque Journal

It is tough to go even a week without seeing another report about pharmaceutical industry profiteering, and it’s time for New Mexicans to fight back. In the latest outrage, the New York Times reports the drug manufacturer Biogen will charge $56,000 a year for its new Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm.

Drug prices have little to do with the cost of research and development and the need to deliver affordable treatment to patients and much more to do with company revenue targets and profits. Biogen’s stock soared nearly 40% on news of the $56,000 price tag. Prescription drug companies are the only businesses in the health care industry whose rates are not regulated. It’s time to hold them to the same standard as all other health care providers.

New Mexico needs a Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB) to help ensure we all have access to affordable medications, because drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them, and our health care system cannot sustain the continued upward pressure of rising drug costs. By creating a PDAB, the Legislature and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham can empower an independent body with the authority to evaluate high-cost drugs and set reasonable rates for consumers to pay.

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Categories: State News