Access and Coverage
Innovations, Treatments, and Therapies

Drug Pricing Reforms

The high price of prescription drugs can often pose the greatest barrier in access to sight-saving therapies and treatments to manage chronic conditions, including vision loss. When patients cannot afford their therapies, they cannot maintain their treatment plans, which can increase total costs for these patients over time as vision loss progresses. Patients who face a future of progressive sight loss due to blinding eye diseases who are unable to access or afford treatment may be at risk of other conditions such as cognitive decline, social isolation and loneliness that could lead to or exacerbate mental health, as well as risk of disabling injury or even death due to a heightened likelihood of experiencing a fall. All of these consequences compound the overall cost of care and add burden to the patient, to the patient’s community, and to the health care system.

While most lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have raised concerns about drug prices on the national system of care and for patients who may not be able to afford them, policy disagreements about how to fairly balance the system have slowed progress towards a bipartisan agreement that would overhaul what consumers and our national health care system pays for various drugs and treatments. Policy solutions in Congress have revolved around allowing Medicare to negotiate prices of prescription drugs, capping out-of-pocket costs for consumers and lowering cost-sharing, implementing tougher penalties on manufacturers that increase prices over inflation, tying the price of certain single source drugs to reference pricing to an international reference pricing or a domestic pricing benchmark, and several others.

Advocacy Updates

Prevent Blindness has engaged in numerous advocacy efforts around drug pricing reforms to ensure that patients’ ability to access sight-saving treatments will not be unintentionally harmed in policies that seek to bring down costs to the national system of care. This debate continues to evolve very rapidly; as such, this page will be updated frequently with emerging details. Also, be sure to review the Coalition Letters and Statements for coalition advocacy activity.