In the Senate, Kay Hagan sponsored an almost identical piece of legislation to Rep. Eshoo’s on biologic drugs, which would keep important lifesaving treatments for breast cancer and other diseases which can cost $50,000 or $300,000 a year from every becoming generics.
Even if you’ve got an 80% insurance copay, as Sherrod Brown notes, that’s a hefty tab:
All too often, the pricetag for this type of drug is simply too high for the patient who needs it. For instance, annual treatment for breast cancer with the brandname biologic drug Herceptin costs $48,000. Even if you are lucky enough to have health insurance and you are paying 20 percent copay, that is $9,600 a year. More than 192,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. How are they going to afford that kind of drug?
Paying for these drugs routinely drive breast cancer patients into financial ruin. Senator Brown is trying to decide whether he’s got the support to offer up his better bill as an amendment to the Hagan/Eshoo PhRMA boondogle. His cosponsors are Chuck Schumer, Debbie Stabinow, Susan Collins and David Vitter. (Yes, David Vitter’s position on these lifesaving drugs for breast cancer patients is far, far superior to Anna Eshoo’s.)
If the White House is looking for bipartisan support for an issue in the health care bill, this is it. The President himself supported a 7 year monopoly rather than Eshoo’s 12 year monopoly (even though the FTC recommended “zero.”)
Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY): 202-224-6542
Senator Susan Collins (R-ME): 202-224-2523
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH): 202-224-2315
Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI): 202-224-4822
Senator David Vitter (R-LA): 202-224-4623