New Iowa TV Ads Target Drug Price Negotiation, Pharma Profits

As a major bill to lower prescription drug costs remains stalled in the Senate, Iowa voters will see some new ads on TV about what happens when patients can’t afford their prescriptions.

Health Care Voter, an organization that unites progressive health care organizations across the country, is running new ads as part of their “health care facts” project.

The TV ad, called “Afford,” which will run in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids markets, draws attention to price negotiation and highlights the Republican drug cost bill that does not have price negotiation written in.

The TV buy will be paired up with statewide digital ads as well, that will span social media while the ad is on the airwaves.

“We’re fighting hard here in Iowa to end the ‘fact deficit’ in the drug pricing debate,” said Health Care Voter Campaign Director Rosemary Enobakhare, in a statement. “With Big Pharma and their allies in Congress working to muddy the waters, Health Care Facts is the educational, objective resource Iowans need. We want people in Iowa and across the country to get all the facts about Medicare negotiations and how they are the best way to actually lower drug prices.”

Health Care Voter said in a statement that price negotiation is “essential to significantly lowering drug prices.”

The ad features Caroline, a registered nurse, talking about problems she frequently sees her patients dealing with.

“There are times that a pharmacy will call and say ‘your patient hasn’t picked up their prescription .. because they just couldn’t afford it,'” Caroline says.

She then goes on to talk about the “astronomical” profit margins of drug companies, and says that price negotiation would help people on Medicare, as well as though on private insurance plans.

“That’s what you do when you buy a car, right?” she says. “Why wouldn’t we negotiate when we’re buying pharmaceuticals?”

Last year, the House passed H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act of 2019, and the House Republicans countered with their own version of a drug pricing bill.

The bills have a lot of similarities, but drug-price negotiation was the biggest contrast between them.


By Josh Cook
Posted 2/18/20

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