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The National Consumers League has sent a letter to Congressional leaders expressing concerns with the current generic biologics language included in the health reform package. Improving access to life-savings medicines must remain the top priority at this historic moment of healthcare reform, and the current biologics language, which would grant an unprecedented 12-year period of monopoly protection to the most expensive medicines, falls short of that goal.
With only half of those with chronic conditions adhering to their medications, the health system is spending upwards of $300 billion on unnecessary hospital (re-)admissions, visits to health care practitioners, and costly advanced treatments. Through simple initiatives that promote adherence such as employer- or community-based counseling programs, incentives within the health care system, reminder systems, and broad-based public education, we can potentially save thousands of dollars per patient annually.
The lack of comprehensive health care coverage is America’s albatross – it makes our businesses less competitive and our workers less healthy. We need to put partisan concerns aside and work NOW to ensure that the system is reformed. The cost of doing nothing is unthinkable.