Throughout Maine, people are struggling to afford their prescription drug medications and make ends meet. The proposed “Rebate Rule,” which eliminates pharmacy benefit managers, will allow Big Pharma to set the price for prescription drugs without negotiation. Not only would the elderly and disabled see a 25% increase in their insurance premiums, but it would also cost the taxpayers between nearly $200 billion and more than $400 billion, according to analyses by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Avalere Health.

This level of federal spending should not be wasted on policies that the CMS predicts would do nothing to lower the costs of prescription drugs.

I help my parents with their expenses and, as seniors living on fixed incomes, I know that they simply can’t afford an extra hike in their premiums, especially as prescription drug prices continue to rise.

It is up to people such as Sen. Susan Collins to make the right choice and reject the “Rebate Rule.” We cannot afford to waste money on legislation that does nothing to offer needed relief for patients while piling on costs for all Americans.

This proposed rule does nothing to address Big Pharma’s anti-competitive and price-gouging tactics. It’s time we held them accountable.

T’Shawn Myvett, Lewiston

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