Former CMS administrator Andy Slavitt has played an active role in the fight to lower drug prices.
Slavitt voiced his support for allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, which Patients For Affordable Drugs supports as a key step toward lowering drug prices for all Americans.
Slavitt knows lower drug prices and innovation can co-exist. ”So the question is: can we have both innovation and the affordability necessary to make it accessible? I think the answer is yes,” he told STAT News.
Andy has called out the pharmaceutical industry, noting that, despite massive corporate tax cuts, the drug industry has refused to lower prices.
“Like other companies, drug companies saw a permanent tax rate cut from 35% to 21%. But they also benefited disproportionately from the significant reduction in the taxes on repatriating foreign cash held overseas. Five of the top 10 companies on the S&P 500 with the most overseas cash in 2016 were pharmaceutical companies,” he wrote in a column for USA today.
Despite the tax windfall, prices keep rising. Over the first seven months of the year, there were 96 price hikes for every price cut, according to an investigation by the Associated Press. Since January, the prices of more than 2,500 drugs have increased by double digits, and for 40 drugs, triple digits.
Slavitt was also named a “Winner” by Modern Healthcare’s 2016 Year in Review for his work help seniors and children afford medications as part of the CHIP Reauthorization Act.
He founded United States of Care with the goal of ensuring that every single American has access to quality, affordable health care regardless of health status, social need, or income.
For his commitment to the issue, Patients For Affordable Drugs is happy to honor Slavitt as an October 2018 Drug Price Fighting Hero.
Patients For Affordable Drugs’ Price Fighting Heroes is a 2018 series highlighting advocates in the fight to lower prescription drug prices.
We will honor patients, private sector leaders, policy makers, and elected officials who are advocating for patients and fighting for lower drug prices. In doing so, we hope to encourage others to join the fight and continue their good work.
We plan to feature our heroes on our social media accounts and blog, lift up their stories in the media and honor them at an event in 2019.
If you have someone you want to nominate as a hero, you can do so here.