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Eliminating “Sophie’s Choice” Decisions for U.S. Prescription Drugs

After presenting the case of an older adult who had to prioritize treatment of severe tooth pain over medications for high blood pressure, authors write, “enough is enough” when it comes to people facing this type of “‘Sophie’s choice’ decisions on an everyday basis as they navigate having to choose between pharmaceutical copays or other life-sustaining necessities.” They add, “In fact, a recent article noted that approximately 1 million patients in the United States rationed their prescribed dosages of insulin because of cost.”

Referring to the Inflation Reduction Act passed last year by U.S. Congress, the authors write: “This law was passed despite well-funded efforts to prevent it from moving forward. Pharmaceutical and other health product companies have spent approximately $400 million trying to push back the U.S. government’s power to negotiate drug prices. There are currently 6 lawsuits challenging the implementation of the Medicare prescription drug price negotiation program, and [the American College of Physicians (ACP)], along with other medical societies, plans to continue its efforts to ensure that the program moves forward as planned by engaging in amicus briefs in these cases.

“Imagine how much of that pharmaceutical money could have gone to persons in the United States who were so desperate to cover health care costs that they created crowdsourcing campaigns to pay for life-sustaining expenses, including prescription drugs? The ACP is resolute in its policy to put patients above pharmaceutical interests and will continue to work relentlessly for its patients. Enough is enough. And miles to go before we sleep.”

Source: Annals of Internal Medicine