WASHINGTON - The Diabetes Leadership Council (DLC), the premier diabetes and health care reform advocacy group advancing patient first policies at the local, state and federal levels, today launched a television and digital advocacy campaign directed at policymakers to address the health care system obstructions that are increasing the costs of care to patients.
The campaign, Less Talk, More Action, is designed to raise awareness regarding costs for medicines, equipment and supplies, and the first issue DLC is tackling is prescription drug rebate reform. Like other health care products and services, medical costs must reflect all discounts and rebates negotiated or mandated across the care supply chain. However, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and insurers often pocket that money, leaving additional costs and burdens on the patient.
“Improving our nation’s health care system needs to put the patient at the center of the reforms and a critical first step is to immediately address the perverse financial incentives pharmacy benefit managers receive that skyrocket prescription drug costs for the consumer,” said George Huntley, CEO of DLC. “No American should ever have to make the choice between taking life-saving medication and putting food on their table or a roof over their head. Unfortunately, 34 million households in the diabetes community know these decisions all too well, and it’s time for policy makers to give less talk and move to action. Our lives depend on it.”
Rebate pass-through will help reduce patient costs in the near-term, but further national reforms are needed to eliminate or modify rebate policies, and the misaligned incentives they cause in our health care system. (Consensus Statement on US Health Care Reform for People with Diabetes, November 2020) Requiring patients to continually jump through hoops such as: prior authorization, refill limits and other utilization management techniques impose a heavy burden on people with chronic conditions, who require multiple prescriptions. The higher the medical risk, the higher the cost burden to the patient.
The millions of Americans living with Diabetes are far from alone. The substantial costs of living with a chronic illness are compounded year over year, penalizing and marginalizing high risk patients, perpetuating medical inequity. According to the CDC, chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability, driving $3.8 trillion in annual health care costs (18% of the GDP). Ultimately, people living with chronic diseases not only bear the burden of daily illness management but also predatory medical costs.Those living with diabetes perpetually pay higher costs to live, $9,600 annually, exacerbated by inflated prescription drug costs due to grossly unfair rebate practices.
Visit DLC’s “Less Talk, More Action Campaign”: https://diabetesleadership.org/its-time-to-put-patients-first
DLC is a 501(c)(3) patient advocacy organization comprised of individuals who combine their passion for advocacy with decades of diabetes experience and leadership to advance patients-first policies at the local, state and national levels. Our members – all former leaders of national diabetes organizations – engage policymakers, and public and private sector influencers to call attention to the diabetes epidemic and provide a voice for 34 million Americans living with the disease.