Rosen Urges Department of Health and Human Services to Investigate, Help Bring Lower Cost Life-Saving Cancer Drug to Patients

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) sent a letter urging Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra to investigate and address why a low-cost, generic, life-saving cancer drug has not been made available to patients. Despite the existence of low-cost abiraterone, a generic oral drug used as part of prostate cancer treatment, the average cost of medication to treat this form of cancer remains extraordinarily high.

“A cancer diagnosis is already difficult enough for patients to navigate with the best of care, but it is unacceptable for an approved, low-cost treatment to be limited to the point that patients cannot easily access the treatment or the benefit from the cost savings,” wrote Senator Rosen. “I urge the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to immediately investigate this issue to ensure that Nevadans and all Americans diagnosed with prostate cancer can have full and affordable access to this lifesaving drug.”

“Costs have remained high despite significantly lower cost options being approved for sale,” she continued. “Patients should now be seeing a drastic reduction in cost for abiraterone due to Civica’s lower price structure, and it is unacceptable that the cost for cancer patients to access this life-saving prescription drug has remained unreasonably high due to barriers preventing Civica’s drug from being widely available.”

The full text of the letter can be found HERE.

Senator Rosen has been leading the fight to lower prescription drug costs for Nevadans. Earlier this year, she announced Nevada seniors will have their annual out-of-pocket costs for brand-name prescription drugs effectively capped at $3,300 a year as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act she helped pass. Last Congress, Senator Rosen’s Advancing Affordable Medicines for Families Act became law to examine the impact that nonprofit generic drug companies would have on lowering drug costs, addressing drug shortages, and accelerating the development of new drugs.