Sterling, VA -- Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) held a roundtable with constituents, health care providers and counselors to discuss their personal experiences with the high costs of diabetes drugs and how it affects patient health.
“No one should have to choose between buying insulin or paying their rent or putting food on the table,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton. "There are Virginians who are making impossible decisions, rationing their insulin and putting their lives at serious risk--it’s heartbreaking and it’s not something we should allow. I believe there’s real opportunity for bipartisan consensus on this issue, and I’m committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to bring down the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs.”
The group also discussed the findings of a report prepared by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform at the request of the Congresswoman on the rising cost of diabetes drugs for seniors and the uninsured in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District. The report finds:
There are approximately 9,000 Medicare beneficiaries in the district who have been diagnosed with diabetes. The 50 most popular brand-name diabetes medications used by these beneficiaries are available at significantly lower prices in other countries. For example, the cost of these drugs to the Medicare program in the district are 4.6 times the cost in Australia, 3.4 times the cost in the United Kingdom, and 2.5 times the cost in Canada.
There are 60,000 uninsured residents in the district. These patients often bear the entire burden of their high prescription drug prices and pay significantly more than patients pay overseas for the same drugs. This report finds that uninsured diabetes patients in the district who purchase Novolog Flexpen—a popular brand of insulin—pay 23 times more than they would in Australia, 15 times more than they would in the United Kingdom, and 14 times more than they would in Canada.