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Ten years ago, I testified before Congress about drug pricing a?? and it's only gotten worse. Here's what's wrong, and how we may be able to fix it.

Ten years ago, I testified before Congress about drug pricing a?? and it's only gotten worse. Here's what's wrong, and how we may be able to fix it.
Crystal Cox/Business Insider



Jasmin Weaver is the executive vice oresident of Civic Ventures. She has worked at the state, local, and federal levels developing and implementing policies and overseeing advocacy efforts. She is a rotating co-host of the Pitchfork Economics podcast with Nick Hanauer.




She testified before Congress about "out of control prescription drug pricing" ten years ago — and says that the problem has only gotten worse.




While she says that no one solution will completely remedy the issue, removing profit incentives and reforming patents may both make a difference.




For more on this topic, listen to the latest episode of "Pitchfork Economics."




Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.



Ten years ago, I testified before Congress about out-of-control prescription drug pricing. Three years after my testimony, my oldest child was born with asthma and a life-threatening nut allergy. As I've worked hard to ensure his health and well-being over the past seven years, I've been saddened to see that drug pricing has only gotten worse.
Every time I head to the pharmacy to buy the life-saving medications that my son needs, I'm confronted with sticker-shock. I have good health insurance, but the EpiPens that could save his life from anaphylactic shock still often cost $100 per refill. And any parent of a child with a severe allergy can tell you that they need multiple EpiPens in every possible location to cover any eventuality — he carries one in his backpack, one at school, one at home, and one goes to summer camp and any other caregivers who watch him away from home. Plus, the drugs expire within a year, so I'm always replacing them.
Many families have it far worse. As I mentioned, my family has excellent health insurance and the costs are within the realm of affordability for us — though I'm always searching for online coupons to reduce price tag of each EpiPen. But when I drop my son off at school, I know that the parents of dozens of his classmates simply can't afford to pay for this life-saving medication. So they cut corners: they let the drugs run well past their expiration date or they simply go without and pray for the best. Nearly a quarter of all Americans report having trouble filling a needed prescription due to increased costs.
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