Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-12-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor


  WINDY CITY TIMES

OP-ED Foreign drug pricing puts America's most vulnerable patients last
By Guy Anthony
2021-07-03

This article shared 1209 times since Sat Jul 3, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


It's no coincidence that American companies led the charge to develop COVID-19 vaccines. Numerous policies—from strong patent protections to a welcoming immigration system—help ensure that the world's smartest scientists can pursue cutting-edge research here.

Many Americans, especially those with HIV, are alive today thanks to this innovation. Unfortunately, these same Americans have the most to lose if a well-intentioned but misguided drug-pricing bill becomes law.

The proposal—the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, or H.R. 3—would set drug prices, pegging Medicare payments to the average price in six other developed countries.

In these "reference" countries, though, government officials make coverage and payment decisions based on heartless and antiquated cost-benefit analyses, called "quality-adjusted life-years."

These "QALYs" are inherently discriminatory, especially against those living with disabilities or chronic diseases, as they put a dollar figure on "perfect" health. So even when a treatment works exactly as it's supposed to — and brings a patient back to his or her full life — those with underlying health conditions, like HIV, are deemed to never be "worth" as much to government regulators.

Let's be clear. Such analyses are cruel. And by importing other nations' drug prices, we'd be importing such analyses here. In many of the reference nations, government regulators declare hard cut-offs on what they'll spend — and therefore conclude that many patients are essentially "too expensive" to be worthy of care.

This refusal to cover medicines that exceed an arbitrary threshold explains why the average patient in OECD countries had access to only 51 percent of new cancer medications launched worldwide from 2011-2019, while American patients had access to 96 percent.

Currently, QALYs aren't used to determine the cost of drugs in the United States. But under H.R. 3, vulnerable patients would be subjected to discriminatory QALY assessments, just indirectly.

The bill is also concerning because it would discourage research.

Developing new medicines is risky. Fewer than 12 percent of experimental medicines entering clinical trials are eventually approved by the FDA. Drugs that make it to market have to subsidize all these failures. That's why, on average, it costs $2.6 billion to bring a new medicine to market, according to a Tufts University study.

By tying Medicare's payments to the arbitrarily low prices paid abroad, H.R. 3 would reduce monies available for research and development. One analysis found that H.R. 3 could result in at least 56 fewer new medicines over 10 years.

As a person living with HIV, I've seen the power of medical innovation firsthand. In 10 years, I've gone from taking three pills per day to only one. At the height of the HIV/AIDs epidemic, the disease was a death sentence. But today, thanks to the innovation of the pharmaceutical industry and the incredible antiretroviral treatments it developed, those living and loving with HIV have life expectancies that match those without it.

Encouraging innovation is the best way to help vulnerable patients like me. Unfortunately, H.R. 3 puts patients last.

Guy Anthony is the president and CEO of Black, Gifted & Whole. This piece originally ran in Plus magazine.


This article shared 1209 times since Sat Jul 3, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

VIEWPOINT Who is my neighbor? 2022-01-20
- The notion of functioning as a Good Samaritan is one that transcends any particular faith tradition. The idea of humans treating humans in a humane way sounds so simple, yet history and modernity are replete with ...


Gay News

Failure to enact Freedom to Vote is a blow to vulnerable groups 2022-01-20
-- From a press release - From Kierra Johnson, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund: "The failure to enact the Freedom to Vote, John R. Lewis Act is a profound blow to our Democracy. The inability to ensure ...


Gay News

VIEWS Trans women passing the torch 2022-01-19
- I am writing this letter to the editor to compliment Windy City Times on its recent article "Passing the torch: How generations of trans women approach activism, advocacy," by Max Lubbers. The article highlights how the ...


Gay News

Two join races for state office, Personal PAC comments on threats to reproductive rights 2022-01-18
-- From a Personal PAC press release - Chicago, IL — Today, following the news that anti-choice extremists Richard Irvin and Avery Bourne would run as Republicans for governor and Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, Personal PAC President and CEO Terry Cosgrove released the following ...


Gay News

VIEWS Hoarders 2022-01-10
- One TV program that I alternately love and hate is Hoarders. The producers send a team of psychologists, organizers and laborers into a person's home and they all work (and argue) about cleaning the place up ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINT For LGBTQ community, the movement behind Jan. 6 is an existential threat 2022-01-08
- The stakes could not be higher. The LGBTQ movement has succeeded beyond our wildest dreams in democratic societies worldwide. Where we have had access to freedom of speech and assembly, remarkable advances have followed. This is ...


Gay News

LETTER Continue the dialogue on racism 2022-01-08
- I am writing this letter to the editor about the article that appeared on the Windy City Times website titled "A look at Northalsted/Boystown bars since 2020 town hall on racism," written by Cris Villalonga-Vivoni. Also, ...


Gay News

LETTER Remembering Archbishop Tutu 2021-12-28
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu passed away in Cape Town, South Africa, on Dec. 26 at the age of 90. In 1984, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of his efforts to bring about a peaceful transition to a society with ...


Gay News

VIEWS Remembering our sister-friend bell hooks 2021-12-16
- bell hooks died on Dec. 15, 2021, at 69, in Kentucky. As a Black Appalachian, bell hooks was inarguably one of the nation's prominent feminist scholars and authors, and a friend to everyone she met. Last ...


Gay News

VIEWS Will Smollett's hoax affect public perception of hate crimes? 2021-12-13
- Former Empire actor Jussie Smollett was recently found guilty on five of the six counts of felony disorderly conduct for concocting an elaborate racist and homophobic assault against himself. Each Class 4 felony count can land ...


Gay News

SAVOR Sweetwater Tavern & Grille 2021-12-04
- The popular Loop spot Sweetwater Tavern & Grille—which specializes in contemporary U.S. cuisine, and which is part of the Bottleneck Management stable of restaurants—has a lot going for it. First, there are the views of the ...


Gay News

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Thanksgiving is a time to reflect 2021-11-24
- Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for a God that created us and loves us. The sins of racism, sexism, ageism and classicism are neoclassic examples of how we have fallen short. We have come ...


Gay News

VIEWS Young people need to listen to LGBTQ elders' intergenerational experiences 2021-11-20
- For one of my first Windy City Times assignments, I was lucky enough to spend nearly three hours interviewing longtime LGBTQ+-rights activist Michael O'Connor. As queer individuals living in Chicago in 2021, we had plenty in ...


Gay News

VIEWS Reporting on queers of color needs to investigate absence as much as presence 2021-11-19
- Earlier this month, I pitched a Windy City Times article that sought to explore how role playing games (RPGs), such as Dungeons & Dragons, enable queer people of color (QPOC) to explore their gender and sexuality ...


Gay News

VIEWS In defense of the word 'lesbian' 2021-11-19
- When I decided to come out to my mom, I wanted to wait until I could say the word "lesbian" out loud. But as I sat her down, I tripped over the long string of letters. "Mom, I'm gay," I blurted ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.