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NV Lawmakers Call for Action at Roundtable on Drug Prices

A national coalition that includes MoveOn.org, union and health-care reform groups helped organize Monday's national day of action on drug pricing. (Mensatic/Morguefile)
A national coalition that includes MoveOn.org, union and health-care reform groups helped organize Monday's national day of action on drug pricing. (Mensatic/Morguefile)
August 21, 2019

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Groups that fight for better health and consumer rights held a roundtable on prescription drug prices last night in Las Vegas, one of 51 similar events around the country.

The events were part of a nationwide day of action called "People Over Pharma Profits.” Laura Martin, executive director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada Action Fund says the cost of insulin in particular has skyrocketed.

"The more lifesaving the medication, it seems the more expensive they become, and I think insulin is a really good example of that," says Martin.

Multiple Nevada lawmakers attended the forum. They praised two recent state bills to increase transparency in pricing for insulin and asthma drugs, something they said they'd like to see implemented nationwide.

Drug companies have argued that pricing data is proprietary, and should not be made public.

Martin says high drug prices are putting people's health, and even their lives, at risk.

"We can't consider ourselves one of the freest and one of the best countries in the world if people can die because they're rationing their insulin or other lifesaving medication just so they don't end up homeless or so they can pay other bills," says Martin.

The roundtable speakers also called out the Trump administration's revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement, saying it put in rules that protect pharmaceutical monopolies and make it harder for lower-priced generics to gain a foothold.

The new NAFTA agreement is expected to get a congressional review in the next few months.

Disclosure: Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Environment, Human Rights/Racial Justice, Immigrant Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV