(Washington, DC) – Patients Over Pharma released the following statement as part of Protect Our Care’s Texas lawsuit Days of Action that are shining a spotlight on President Trump’s efforts in Texas vs. United States to strike down the Affordable Care Act and the protections it offers patients and families.

“President Trump promised to reduce the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs for patients, but everything he’s done has made it clear that he has absolutely no intention of following that rhetoric up with any meaningful action,” said Eli Zupnick, spokesman for Patients Over Pharma.

“In fact, President Trump’s obsession with repealing health care reform, kicking millions of patients off of their insurance plans, and ending protections for people with pre-existing conditions would move us in the complete opposite direction and make prescription drugs even more expensive for patients and families. If President Trump and his Big Pharma allies are successful with this lawsuit then patients will lose the few protections they’ve been able to gain against pharmaceutical industry corruption and price-gouging.”

Background (from Protect Our Care):

If the ACA is overturned, the high cost of prescription drugs would only get worse.

GONE​: Rules that increase competition in the prescription drug market and help Americans access cheaper drugs.

GONE​: Consumer protections that prohibit drug companies from paying off doctors behind closed doors to influence the drugs they prescribe to patients.

GONE​: Nearly 12 million seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare ‘donut hole’ will be reopened.

ACA Repeal Means More Profits For Drug Companies And Higher Costs For Consumers. Consumers could be forced to pay more for drugs. ​The ACA’s ​Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act​ paved the way for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve biosimilars, cheaper alternatives to expensive biologics. Without the ACA, approvals of biosimilars will be in jeopardy, and drug companies may be less likely to invest in new biosimilar drugs. This change will make it harder for Americans to access low-cost alternatives to expensive biologic medications. It will also jeopardize the predicted ​$54 billion in savings that biosimilars are expected to produce between 2017 and 2026.

Drug companies would once again be allowed to pay doctors behind closed doors (to prescribe drugs you don’t necessarily need).​ Without the ACA’s ​Physician Payments Sunshine Act​, Big Pharma will once again be allowed to make payments and offer gifts to doctors behind ​closed doors​. When these payments are made with no transparency, they can create conflicts of interest​ and blur the line between objective and promotional research. The outcome of the Texas lawsuit has the potential to uproot the health care system all while giving drug companies even more power.

Reopening the “donut hole” would make medications more expensive for 12 million seniors. If the entire ACA is overturned, seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole will be reopened. From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a ​January 2017 Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services report​.

Patients Over Pharma, a project of Accountable.US, is focused on exposing the deep ties between the Trump Administration and the pharmaceutical industry, the revolving door between Big Pharma and the federal government, and how this corruption in Congress and the administration is hurting patients and their families.

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