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November 14, 2016
Weekly Media Update on Policy and Advocacy in the U.S. to Bring Down Drug Prices

Prescription Justice Blog: Serious Health Consequences for People Who Cannot Afford Their Hepatitis C Medication

Part of a series of posts about common chronic illnesses and what happens when people cannot afford prescription medications to treat them.

Hepatitis C is an infection caused by a virus that attacks the liver and causes inflammation.  An estimated 3.5 million Americans are living with hepatitis C, with about half unaware they even have it. Recent advancements in hepatitis C treatments have greatly improved. New medications can lead to a cure in about 90 percent of people. But the prices for such treatments are prohibiting access and that means more people will remain sick and sometimes die. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that in 2014, hepatitis C related deaths reached an all-time high of 19,659, killing more Americans each year than all other infectious diseases combined, including HIV.

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U.S. Consumers Will Want Trump, Congress To Take On Drug Prices


Americans' growing alarm over rising prescription drug costs will pressure a new U.S. administration and Congress to take action on pharmaceutical pricing, industry executives and healthcare experts say.

Drugmaker stocks, battered in recent months, soared this week after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's victory. Democratic rival Hillary Clinton had vowed to take on pharmaceutical "price gouging," and some pundits predicted the Democrats would gain control of the Senate, giving her a stronger hand.

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Can We Lower Drug Costs?
Ways To Help Patients Find Affordable Medications

It’s no secret that U.S. prescription drug spending outpaces that in other countries. In fact, in America, per capita drug spending is higher than that in all other countries, researchers reported August 2016 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Even patients within the United States pay different prices for their prescription drugs, according to which government system or insurer is involved in the patient’s coverage.

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Which Big Drug Companies Are Helping the Poor?

The pharmaceutical giant GSK, which has held first place in the Access to Medicine Index ever since its introduction in 2008, was ranked first again this week.

The index measures how well the world’s top 20 pharma companies do at getting their drugs and vaccines — and often their scientific expertise — to the world’s poorest countries.

The list was created by Wim Leerveld, a Dutch former pharmaceutical executive, and grew with early support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Dutch and British governments. At first, many drug companies ignored its requests for information.

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