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Sen. Baldwin has health care discussion in La Crosse on holding down cost of inhalers for asthma sufferers



US Sen. Tammy Baldwin visits with health care professionals and citizens at the La Crosse Gundersen clinic on 3rd Street on May 30, 2024 (PHOTO: Brad Williams).

The cost of inhalers for asthma sufferers was the main topic of a meeting that US Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) had in La Crosse on Thursday.

Baldwin, who met with health care professionals and others at the Gundersen Health System clinic on 3rd Street, has been calling on the makers of inhalers to keep their prices low, after calling out pharmaceuticals on the matter back in January.

The Democrat said three out of the top four inhaler producers have gone along with the request, capping prices at $35, after she and other lawmakers launched an investigation on costs back in January.

US Sen. Tammy Baldwin visits with health care professionals and citizens at the La Crosse Gundersen clinic on 3rd Street on May 30, 2024 (PHOTO: @SenatorBaldwin on Twitter).

“They’ve been around for 70-plus years,” Baldwin said. “Their patents should have expired, and there should be generic competition helping to drive the price down.”

Retired Gundersen pediatrician Steven Manson has seen patients have to decide between health care and other expenses.

“We would prescribe some medicine, and find out later that they could not afford it,” Manson said, “so therefore, they either didn’t pick up the prescription, or they would ration the amount of medicine, or they couldn’t send it to school or to their sporting event because of the cost of the inhaler.”

Manson added that he’s happy Baldwin has become educated on the price of medicine.

“Inhaler device manufacturers charging 10-15 times more for Americans for their inhalers than people in other countries. It seems absurd,” Baldwin said. “Then hearing personal accounts from constituents who have asthma or COPD, who simply can’t afford their medications.”

The senator said one asthma medicine, which costs only $7 in France, is sometimes sold for about $500 in the U.S.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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  1. Part B

    May 30, 2024 at 11:55 pm

    ummm, I think it was actually Sen Bernie Sanders that headed up the effort to get price relief on these drugs.

  2. Lucenut

    May 31, 2024 at 11:11 am

    This mentally ill degenerate needs to be eliminated from public service. If you haven’t been paying attention, the federal government NEVER lowers the cost of healthcare. Remember when the “affordable care act” more than doubled everyone’s healthcare costs?

  3. LG

    June 4, 2024 at 7:12 am

    If people have to choose between getting proper healthcare versus other expenses, like say taxes, maybe Tammy Baldwin should focus her efforts on reducing the size of government and lowering taxes to free up money to purchase healthcare products and medication. But no, she prefers Government force that rarely works as intended.

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