The Arizona Republic recently published an opinion piece talking about the need for the government to negotiate drug prices. It talked a lot about lowering the cost of medications, which is what we all can agree on, but nothing about providing cancer and other disease patients a path that can save their life. As Founder of the Arizona Myeloma Network and Cancer Caregivers Education Program, we work daily with cancer patients and their loving caregivers.
We provide resources that help families find the best treatment, services and the care and attention they deserve. Oftentimes, that includes discussing their medication options. That is why government negotiation is a slippery slope. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has stated that government negotiation of drug prices will hamper the innovation patients are counting on, with upwards of 50 drugs not hitting the market!
My husband, Jack, is a 30 year cancer survivor and was told 30 years ago that he had 1-3 years to live. Thanks to the research and new drugs that came along over the years, mostly in the last 10 years, he is alive and well. We should be more concerned about the needs of patients and cures first.