ATAP Action Network Physicians & Patient Advocates Meet With Congressional Offices

ATAP Action Network Physicians & Patient Advocates Meet With Congressional Offices

Yesterday, physician and patient advocates on behalf of the Alliance for Transparent and Affordable Prescriptions (ATAP) Action Network (AN) will meet virtually with congressional lawmakers’ offices as part of its 2021 Capitol Hill Day. In these meetings, ATAP member organizations are advocating for lowering prescription drug prices for their patients by bringing accountability to the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) industry.

ATAP is an active advocate for patients in federal and state battles to amplify the voices of patients and physicians – especially as it relates to exposing PBM abuses and the impact on access to therapies (medications) needed for the treatment of patients. In the meetings today, ATAP AN will speak to congressional offices about three pieces of legislation, including: the PBM Accountability Study Act (H.R. 1829/S. 298), the Drug Price Transparency Act (S. 1523), and the Prescription Pricing for the People Act (S. 1388).

“We are proud to bring policymakers the voices of patients and providers, two groups grossly underrepresented in the drug pricing debate’” said Dr. Robert Levin, the President of ATAP. “These voices from our members, combined with supporting advocacy organizations, and individuals fearing drug cost affordability, will surely inspire national leaders to take action to fix problems created by the PBM industry.”

ATAP AN will meet with congressional member offices from Florida, Wisconsin, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri, Maryland, and California.

Michael Schweitz, President of ATAP Action Network and Member of the Florida Society of Rheumatology, stated, “Officials in Washington understand that our members, those on the front lines of medical care, offer a valuable perspective. We see the struggles and confusion that patients are put through by this completely unnecessary middleman industry. We appreciate to opportunity to share these experiences and help more legislators see the light – and shine it on the PBMs.”

Several ATAP member organizations are participating in meetings including, the American College of Rheumatology, the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations, Lupus and Allied Diseases Association, Inc., and many others.

Kathleen A. Arntsen President & CEO of Lupus and Allied Diseases Association, (an ATAP member organization) stated, “As a patient-led organization representing those facing serious health conditions, we have direct experience with the frustration in struggling to access affordable and appropriate treatments due to PBM interference. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share this information with elected officials and are hopeful that they will stand with patients and support fair drug pricing legislation that holds the PBM industry accountable.”

“PBMs generate significant profits while patients struggle to afford the cost of care,” said Steven Newmark, Director of Policy at the Global Healthy Living Foundation (an ATAP member organization). “We will show elected officials and policymakers what is really happening in exam rooms, and the stress patients experience due to PBM interference. There is a better way.”