Proposition D in San Francisco is a first in the nation ballot measure that gives voters a chance to weigh in on the rising cost of prescription medications in the United States.
Prop D was placed on the ballot by nearly 18,000 San Franciscans and has the unanimous support of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
The US spends more on prescription drugs than any other country, and even though the Affordable Care Act addresses major problems within the healthcare system, the issue of high prescription drug costs is left virtually untouched.
Two days after open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) started, “Yes on D” campaign officially launched on the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall. Prop D aims to give the city of San Francisco more power with the issue of out-of-control drug prices, and the financial impact it has on the taxpayers and consumer.
Supporters rallied around the podium as speakers supported the measure, including Senator Mark Leno, Assemblymember Phil Ting, President of Board of Supervisors David Chiu and AIDS Healthcare foundation President Michael Weinstein.
According to the WORLD Health Organization (WHO), the U.S. ranks 37th, among nations for its health system and pays twice as much each year. Leno said the measure would give San Francisco the opportunity to fight excessive prices for medications, primarily those for patients suffering from chronic illnesses like HIV/AIDS, cancer and diabetes.
“Prop D is a first step forward, we have a flawed health system”, he said, “A major component of an ever increasing share of money spent on healthcare is the cost of life saving drugs in
Weinstein, President of AIDS Health Care foundation, which has clinics and pharmacies that serve HIV/AIDS patients throughout the Bay Area and country, says that while pharmaceutical CEOs are making huge bonuses, the average person is struggling, often left with the choice between medication or food to eat.
In addition to finding ways the city can reduce its costs of the more than $23 million San Francisco spends on medications for Healthy SF, City Hospitals, Jails and other programs, the measure looks to shine a light on the ability for drug manufacturers to set any price for essential medications, no matter how high the cost.
“San Francisco has a long history of taking on issues that have been ignored at the federal and state level. The fight to ensure fair drug pricing won’t be solved overnight, but by voting yes on D, San Francisco will have the ability to advocate for a critical issue facing us all”, says Weinstein.
A “Yes on D” music video was debuted during the Daily Show with John Stewart featured a catchy little jingle. The commercial highlights disabled patients concerned about the out of control prices of prescription drugs. It has over 65,000 hits on You Tube.
Hene Kelly, Legislative Director of California Alliance for Retired Americans, says her organizations strongly backs Prop D. Kelly said that seniors make up 41 percent of those purchasing prescription drugs and pay more for their essential drugs needed for everyday living than anyone else”.
“I’m proud to live in San Francisco, because every city is judged on how they treat their old, disabled and poor, and I know that San Francisco cares,” she said.
For more info and to get involved: YesOnDsf.org