Opinion, WVPA Sharing

Opinion: U.S. Senator Manchin can lead on lowering prescription costs

By W.Va. Delegate Chad Lovejoy

As 2022 enters its second month, families in West Virginia and across the nation are contending with financial pressure brought about by rising inflation.

Delegate Chad Lovejoy, D-Cabell

Toward the end of last year, inflation reached its highest point in decades, and the consumer price index rose nearly 7% in November alone. This has caused necessities, like groceries and gas, to become more unaffordable. While inflation is negatively affecting many, it is particularly devastating for the 387,000 West Virginians who cannot afford their prescription medications.

For decades, the high prices of prescription drugs have forced patients to choose between purchasing everyday necessities, like food and fuel or refilling their life-saving prescriptions. With the prices of essential goods continuing to rise because of inflation, these inhumane choices have only become more common.

To make matters worse, prescription drug prices are rising once again, despite the number of American families struggling to make ends meet. But we have seen that the government can effectively negotiate the price of prescription drugs. Our Department of Veterans Affairs gets the best deals for our veterans, so Medicare should be able to get the best deals for our seniors.

Congress can help right now to address these high drug prices, by allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs on behalf of patients. In doing so, our country’s lawmakers could finally provide so many West Virginians with the relief they desperately need.

Congress is currently the closest it has ever been to passing this much-needed drug pricing reform, and we cannot allow this moment to pass. The current reconciliation package before Congress contains a hardfought drug pricing compromise that would finally grant Medicare the ability to negotiate lower drug prices in addition to other much-needed policy changes.

Patients have waited almost two decades for this type of reform. Fortunately, here in West Virginia, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has championed the importance of lowering prescription drug prices through Medicare negotiation.

For the sake of patients throughout our state and across the country, I know that Manchin will work with his colleagues in the Senate to push the drug pricing reforms through Congress this year. Manchin stands up for West Virginia, and we need to help him get this bill across the finish line. After all, every West Virginian should be able to afford the medication they need.

— Chad Lovejoy, D-Cabell, represents the 17th District in the West Virginia House of Delegates.

Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter