In Parting Shot, Hatch Criticizes Trump’s Proposal To Tie Drug Costs To What Other Nations Pay
The letter from outgoing Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) urges his colleagues to stand against the administration’s international pricing index model in a sign of emerging tensions in the Republican party over the best way to fight high drug prices. Meanwhile, drug costs may jump as much as 9 percent in the new year as pharmaceutical companies return to the status quo following their self-declared hiatus on price hikes.
Outgoing GOP Chairman Urges Colleagues To Oppose Trump Drug Pricing Proposal
Outgoing Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) wrote a letter to GOP colleagues on Wednesday urging them to oppose a proposal from President Trump to lower drug prices. Hatch’s letter, obtained by The Hill, is an illustration of the divide among Republicans over proposals to lower drug prices, with some Republican lawmakers breaking with Trump. (Sullivan, 12/20)
Retiring Sen. Hatch To Colleagues: Curtail Trump Drug Pricing Move
In one of his last moves before retirement, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) slammed one of the Trump administration’s splashiest drug pricing plans and called for his colleagues to limit the power of the Trump administration to pursue the proposal. Until now, Hatch has largely refrained from openly criticizing the Trump administration’s drug pricing plans, even as some have broken with Republican orthodoxy. Wednesday’s letter is perhaps the clearest sign to date of tensions emerging in the Republican party over the administration’s’ drug pricing policies. (Florko, 12/20)
Pharma Prepares To Raise Prices In 2019 With A Wink To Trump
Drugmakers are getting ready to raise prices Jan. 1 on a broader swath of medicines than in prior years, according to Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal. In a move to catch up on delayed hikes from 2018, pharmaceutical companies may raise prices on about 20 percent more drugs than last year, with the average price increase for pharmacy-dispensed drugs in high single digits and around 3 percent for those administered by physicians, Gal estimated after talking with insurance carriers and health-plan sponsors. (Flanagan and Griffin, 12/20)
Get Ready For Drug Prices To Rise As Much As 9 Percent Next Month
As a new year beckons, there is considerable anticipation that many drug makers will vigorously lift a self-imposed moratorium on price hikes that began last summer in response to political pressure from President Trump. After all, the pharmaceutical industry traditionally boosts prices in January in order to meet financial goals. Moreover, White House efforts to staunch rising drug costs have yielded few gains. Already, a few companies have signaled higher prices are coming, but what might these look like? (Silverman, 12/20)
And in other pharmaceutical news —
Two High-Priced Drugs For Spinal Muscular Atrophy Called Not Cost Effective
A pair of new medicines designed to treat spinal muscular atrophy, a rare and often fatal genetic disease affecting muscle strength and movement, may be beneficial but appear to be priced too high to be considered cost effective, according to a preliminary analysis. One drug, which is called Spinraza, costs $750,000 during the first year of treatment and $375,000 thereafter. But at that price, the Biogen (BIIB) drug fails to provide sufficient value based on QALY, or quality-of-life years, which measures both the quantity and quality of life generated by providing a treatment or some other health care intervention. (Silverman, 12/20)
Prescription Drug Watch: For news on rising drug costs, check out our weekly roundup of news coverage and perspectives of the issue.