Opinion: To lower drug costs, define ‘cost’ to mean net cost after rebates

In what could be a turning point in the prescription drug debate, President Biden has made clear that the health crisis of unaffordable medications must end. In a speech he gave in the East Room of the White House in August, the president shared how he and his siblings had to chip in to cover the cost of their mother’s prescription drugs as she got older, spending thousands of dollars per month. The Bidens’ experience is shared by millions of other American seniors and families.

Everyday Americans are making impossible choices between affording food and rent or their prescriptions. In many cases, people skip doses or forego treatment altogether. The effects of these choices are grim. An estimated 1 million or more Medicare patients will die prematurely between now and 2030 because they cannot afford their prescription drugs.

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