After a couple of explosive weeks of impeachment hearings, it's hard to wrap your mind around anything else going on in Washington, but there's still plenty going on in Congress that needs our attention.
Speaker Pelosi's "Lower Drug Costs Now Act" is expected to be voted on in the coming weeks. We can all agree that the cost of prescription drugs is something that must be addressed by Congress. We need our elected leaders to find work together on healthcare reform, but there's a significant part of this bill that could risk patient access to care in a substantial way.
The International Reference Pricing component of HR 3 has the potential to limit choices for treatment and medications for some of the most vulnerable patients. While the model would indeed lower prices of drugs, it could also hurt American cancer patients who currently have access to 95% of available cancer treatments while patients in some of the referenced countries only have access to 55%. This is a risk we can't take.
We need to find ways to lessen the incredible burden that healthcare costs impose on North Carolina families -- and families across America. There's no doubt that we need to see changes, but the international reference pricing is just not the way.