Rye Brook, NY (May 14, 2018) – President Trump gave a speech on Friday May 11, 2018 outlining his administration’s proposal to bring down the cost of drugs.
Following is a statement from The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s President and CEO Louis J. DeGennaro:
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) is pleased that the Trump Administration has publicly committed to making prescription drugs more affordable for patients. Patients with cancer often face enormous out-of-pocket costs that become a barrier standing between patients and the potentially lifesaving drugs they need. Indeed, across the cancer care ecosystem, the cost of treating cancer and other complex diseases is unsustainable, and LLS believes every stakeholder has a responsibility to identify and advance solutions that address these growing costs, including the cost of prescription drugs.
Cancer patients everywhere should be encouraged when policymakers like U.S. Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar highlight that one of the biggest challenges our healthcare system faces is out-of-pocket costs for consumers. LLS is encouraged by the Administration’s continued support for an annual cap on the out-of-pocket spending required to access prescriptions under Medicare Part D. No patient should be forced to choose between a mortgage payment and a lifesaving medication, and no patient should face bankruptcy due to a cancer diagnosis. The Administration’s proposal to take the savings that Medicare Part D plans negotiate with a drug’s manufacturer and share that savings with patients who rely on that drug also has the potential to make a significant difference in lowering what seniors pay for their drugs.
LLS was pleased that the Administration’s Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs endorses several reforms that LLS has identified as opportunities to lower the cost of cancer care. When LLS released its Cost of Cancer Care recommendations last year, we called upon policymakers to equalize many payments in different care settings in order to lower patient and insurer costs, promote competition once a drug is no longer under patent, reform the financial incentives in Medicare Part B, and empower patients through transparency about the cost of their treatment options. The Administration’s Blueprint has offered reforms in all these areas, and LLS will continue to provide the cancer patient perspective as the Administration considers advancing them.
The Administration has highlighted a long list of opportunities for reform. As this process continues, LLS will be a strong voice for patients—advocating for the policies that improve access to critical therapies and raising concerns with any policies that would increase out-of-pocket costs for patients.
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.
Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LLS.org. Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.