Power in Numbers?

It’s called “The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing” and if there truly is power in numbers, this new coalition could make a lot of noise. It’s a group of more than 80 organizations, from AARP to Walmart, representing consumers, health care providers and insurers with the goal of increasing transparency and lowering the cost of prescription drug prices. 

With that in mind, the coalition just released a dozen proposals that it believes will increase competition, improve value, raise the level of transparency, and lower costs.

From TheHill.com:

Under the Campaign for Sustainable Drug Pricing plan, drugmakers would be required to disclose how much they spent to make their products and how much patients will pay. They would also have to disclose how much federal money went into each product, such as if they used grants from the National Institutes of Health.  

Companies would also be required to report more clinical trial data, changing a system that members argue currently deters generic drugs from entering the market.

The campaign wants to make generic drugs more available by speeding up their approval. It calls for more resources — specifically, funding and staff — to help the Food and Drug Administration clear its massive backlog of drug applications.

According to the Washington Times, “The pharmaceutical industry’s top lobbying group was not impressed with the proposals, arguing they unfairly targeted the sector instead of going after hospitals, insurers or other catalysts for health spending.”

The Fiscal Times added, “PhRMA took strong exception to the coalition’s proposals, arguing that they weren’t market-based and would likely add costly new government regulations.”

 

Debra Whitman, chief public policy officer for AARP, is quoted in Modern Healthcare as saying the key to stabilizing prescription drug prices is balancing the legitimate need to develop innovative treatment with the ability for the healthcare system to handle the prices.

“Consumers desperately want innovation, but innovation that’s unaffordable is meaningless,” she said.

Share your thoughts on this issue. Is your organization one of the 80-plus in the coalition? Would you be interested in joining? Why or why not? Generating meaningful discussions around the hottest topics in health are critical to our goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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