KEY TAKEAWAY: Biopharma can’t just read about high drug prices in media stories, employees need to get out and listen to patients talk about how it’s affecting their treatment choices and limiting the quality of life THEY want.
If I have been unusually critical of “big pharma” on the cost of drugs, it’s because I am getting sick and tired of listening to patients talk about the high price of prescription medications. I’m not talking about uninsured patients, I’m talking about patients who have insurance and are being forced into choosing therapies they don’t want because of high co-pays via high drug prices. Even the moderator that I have been working with said that “high drug prices are being talked about even when we don’t bring up the topic”.
My posts are not meant to criticize as much as to get people fired up enough to ask”are we doing everything we can to ensure patients who need our medications get them?”. Somewhere within biopharma companies empathy has to lead to action and a willingness to be a champion for patients whose voices aren’t heard.
The helplines, established for people who need financial assistance, need to be reexamined from top to bottom from a brand/company experience standpoint. If a drug costs five figures then it stands to reason that someone making a low six figure salary will need help. We can’t just raise money for health conditions via a bicycle ride and have a “great feeling” that we did something good when so many patients have to choose between paying for medications they need and paying the rent.
If biopharma doesn’t act, and act soon, it’s only a matter of time before key biopharma CEO’s are being sworn in before Congress to talk about high drug prices. Wouldn’t it be better if someone said “Senator, we have set up a program so that everyone who needs our medication can get it. On my watch no patient will be denied our product because they can’t afford it.”