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Don’t sacrifice innovation to lower drug costs

We all agree that we need to lower out-of-pocket costs for patients, but we cannot sacrifice innovation in the process.

Many young adults suffer from depression. It’s often hard to describe what living with depression is like, especially since there aren’t always physical symptoms. But for me, I was constantly anxious, disengaged, and hopeless. Activities that used to make me happy, like hanging with friends, didn’t interest me anymore and, some days, it would even be difficult just to get out of bed.

Fortunately, I’m one of the “lucky ones” and was able to be diagnosed and prescribed antidepressants. Ever since starting my medication, I’ve felt like a new person. Nowadays, I’m excited almost every morning to start my day.

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But my story is the exception, not the rule. Millions of Minnesotans battle undiagnosed or untreatable mental health disease every day, which is why we must continue to invest in new cures and treatments. It took several months to find the best antidepressant for me. Because of pharmaceutical innovation, when one medication didn’t work for me, I had several other options to fit my needs.

Unfortunately, the Minnesota Legislature is currently considering a bill that aims to lower high drug prices via a new state board, but the bill has an ugly underbelly that will hamper new drug development. We all agree that we need to lower out-of-pocket costs for patients, but we cannot sacrifice innovation in the process.

Everyone deserves to live life to the fullest and access to new medications is a big part of that. I hope our officials will vote no on HF 801.

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