Addressing the Drug Price Crisis

Editor’s Note: The National MS Society recently launched initiative to make MS medications affordable, simple and transparent, calling on leadership from all parties involved — pharmaceutical companies, insurance providers, pharmacy benefit managers, specialty pharmacies, healthcare providers, policy makers, people with MS and others — to work together to focus on getting people with MS the medications they need to live their best lives. Learn more and ask your candidates to pledge their support.

As the founder and co-chair of the House Prescription Drug Task Force — the only group of Members of Congress dedicated to addressing the drug price crisis — I am committed to advancing legislative and regulatory solutions to lower the cost of prescription drugs. Before I signed the pledge, I was already working to make medications, including multiple sclerosis medications, more affordable. We have made many strides in research and treatment, but an unaffordable drug is 100 percent ineffective.

The National MS Society is a strong ally in addressing the problems of accessing medications, including rising drug prices. With nearly a 400 percent increase in the price of MS medications from 2004 to today, the MS Society’s initiative to make medications accessible comes at a critical time. Rising prices are about more than just one CEO, one drug manufacturer, or one drug.  Across the board we are seeing increases that put treatment out of reach of too many.

This summer, I held a town hall in San Antonio to discuss how rising drug prices affect local families. MS activist Lynn Cox eloquently spoke of the simultaneous rise in both treatment quality and price. She said her treatment costs $20,000 per vial of medication. More than one hundred people came out that day to share their experiences with unaffordable medications, and even more have written in to my office or contacted me on social media.

The problem requires legislative and administrative solutions.  With the town hall for constituents, briefings for congressional Members and staff, and my work in Congress, I am seeking solutions and looking for allies willing to make real progress.
Tags Activism & Advocacy, Treatment      2 Appreciate this

Lloyd Doggett

U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett serves Texas’ 35th congressional district and is a member of the Congressional MS Caucus. First elected to Congress in 1995, he has been a long time supporter of MS research funding through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Multiple Sclerosis Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (MS CDMRP).