Congress is on my mind this week. There’s a lot of talk on PharmacyCheckerBlog about Big Pharma doing this and Big Pharma doing that to keep drug prices high in America. Most often, I aim to expose them for outright lying or exaggerating about the risks of buying cheaper meds from foreign countries using online pharmacies. Criticism of the FDA follows a close second, and in large part due to Big Pharma’s outsized influence on the agency. But who could really enact change? Congress!
This week, we at Prescription Justice announced the new Congressional Report Card on Drug Prices. Our team graded all members of Congress on their action and inaction on drug prices. I’m intensely proud of these efforts. If Congress passed laws that led to lower drug prices in the United States, then Americans would not be forced to obtain medication in other countries – at least not to the extent that they have to now. The lifeline of safe international online pharmacies is important, but it should not be in such great demand.
We can’t vote for who runs Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Merck, Gilead or Janssen. And as much as we accuse them of greed – those executives are not responsible for changing the laws. We can vote for the people who do change the laws: Congress. The Prescription Justice Congressional Report Card on Drug Prices can help voters do just that.
The grade is not solely based on how Congress votes. It also addresses how much money a member of Congress takes from drug companies, bill sponsorships and co-sponsorships, and “soft data,” measured by drug price policies articulated on Congressional websites. Take a look!