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Readers opine on environmentally friendly living and federal drug pricing policy.

Adopting an eco-friendlier lifestyle isn't that hard

Climate change is happening whether we like it or not. Oregon was on the cusp of making a groundbreaking law that would not only make a difference but be an example for others to follow. We could have been one of the early leaders in the fight against climate change.

The reason given most often for the failure is that it would cause hardship on Oregon drivers. Drivers of fossil fuel vehicles could offset any increase in fuel prices.

First, they could stop their bad driving habits: idling their vehicles while parked or in long predictable traffic stops like bridge lifts and road construction (iturnitoff.com), warming up vehicles (roadandtrack.com), and speeding (mpgforspeed.com).

Second, they could change their lifestyle. Our highways are clogged Monday through Friday with single occupancy vehicles (carpool or mass transit), avoid drive throughs (0 mpg and still polluting), telecommute as much as possible, replace a fossil fuel vehicle with an all-electric vehicle (Electrify America is making long distance travel more feasible for EVs).

The climate is changing faster than we are. Our state can't wait, our country can't wait, and our planet can't wait. The losers will be our children and grandchildren. Our government is finally doing something about climate change, but the people are not willing to do their part. Instead of thinking of excuses why we cannot change, we should think of reasons to change.

The alternative, climate change, will be a lot more expensive in the long run.

Stephen Kingsbury, Beaverton

Cancer patients could suffer under Trump proposal

Fifteen years ago, wife Sherie was diagnosed with stage-three ovarian cancer and our family founded the Sherie Hildreth Ovarian Cancer (SHOC) Foundation to raise funds for ovarian cancer research at OHSU.

SHOC supports research into the developments of better cancer treatments and we believe public policies must ensure access to the best treatments for all patients in need. That is why we are very concerned with the Trump administration's proposal to base U.S. drug prices on those paid in 14 foreign countries.

Known as the International Pricing Index model (IPI), this idea may sound good on the surface but tying drug prices to other countries could have serious consequences for cancer patients. Patients across the United States had access to 95% of cancer drugs launched between 2011 and 2018. This is not the case for countries that follow the International Pricing Index model, Britain only had access to 74% of cancer drugs launched between 2011 and 2018. Even worse, cancer patients in Greece only had access to 8% of cancer drugs.

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network has noted that the IPI "could actually make it harder for cancer patients, especially those living in rural areas, to find the right provider to treat their cancer with the right drug." In addition, a report by the U.S Department of Commerce unveiled that IPI along with other foreign price control models hampers investment in global research and development by 11% to 16% annually.

In our 15 years, we have donated over $1 million to the Gynecological Cancer Lab, but that is just a small fraction of what is needed to fuel the development of more effective treatments of cancer. Once better treatments are achieved, it is critical that those in need have access to them. This IPI proposal endangers both.

Bruce Hildreth, Gladstone


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