Perspectives: Outrage Over Costs Is Not Enough — We Need Action
Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.
Let's Work With Trump To Reduce Drug Prices
A few months ago, from the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trump said, “We are not allowed to negotiate drug prices. Can you believe it?” Unfortunately, I can. It’s one of the reasons that prescription drug prices are skyrocketing. It’s one of the reasons that the cost of EpiPen went up nearly 500% since 2009. There are more reasons to be sure, but not being able to negotiate is an important one. (Amy Klobuchar, 12/13)
Trump’s Business Practices Could Help Curb The Crazy High Drug Prices
President-elect Donald Trump promised to bring down drug prices in his Time magazine Person of the Year interview and perhaps his unique blend of common sense and desire to make a deal might be the needed prescription. Americans want to see policies that address constantly increasing drug prices that are making healthcare unaffordable, risking overall healthcare, and raising the cost of doing business. Trump recognizes that past policies are failing to stem the increase in drug prices and knows action is necessary. (David Balto and Becky Davidson, 12/13)
US News & World Report:
The Harm Of High Drug Prices To Americans – A Continuing Saga
The problem of high cancer drug prices in the United States was highlighted in 2013, following a decade during which the average annual price of newly introduced cancer drugs increased from less than $10,000 to more than $100,000 in 2012. In a for-profit health care industry, drug companies need to make reasonable profits. Annual drug industry profits average 20 percent to compensate for the riskiness of drug research. But the aim of maximizing profits has crossed the line into profiteering at the expense of patients. (Hagop Kantarjian and Vivian Ho, 12/12)
The Washington Post:
Want Cheaper Drugs? Increase Competition.
Why are pharmaceutical prices so high while the prices of so many other items we buy are low and even falling? The difference is competition. Drug companies typically have a monopoly on the drugs they sell, and monopolists charge high prices. So to get lower drug prices, we need more competition. Patent law gives drug companies a legal monopoly for 20 years on the drugs they create, which is an effective way of encouraging innovation. But we can get both more drug development and lower drug prices without disturbing patent law. How so? Curb the Food and Drug Administration’s power to keep drugs off the market. (David R. Henderson and Charles L. Hooper, 12/9)
The Washington Post:
How We Should Pay For Cures, According To Economics
Imagine a major medical breakthrough: a cure for Alzheimer’s. Imagine that cure not only would improve the cognitive abilities of the more than 5 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s but also would give these patients additional years of life. Imagine the economic impact of allowing these individuals to live at home, return to work and become productive members of society. But what should be the price of a cure? Ideally, it should be based on the value that the drug gives to patients. (Jason Shafrin, 12/9)
We Need To Tame The Price Of New Cancer Drugs
Last week Dr. Peter Bach, a physician and cancer drug pricing theorist, gave a plenary lecture at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Until recently, it was unusual for oncologists to hear lectures about the costs of medicines and care. Bach works at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, where he directs the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes. (Elaine Schattner, 12/13)
The Washington Post:
How Do We Break Open The Black Box Of Drug Pricing?
Nearly every time the pharmaceutical industry finds itself in the news, it’s accompanied by angry demands to fix the ever-increasing cost of drugs. But reforming the system is a herculean task, especially because there isn’t just one aspect to blame. Unlike other products, drugs aren’t simply produced and then sold to consumers. Instead, they go through opaque layers of business, intermediaries and government before reaching consumers. The real question that reformers have to answer is how to break open the black box of drug pricing and introduce a much-needed level of transparency. (Robert Gebelhoff, 12/7)
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Sticker Shock At The Pharmacy? There's More Than Meets The Eye:
There's much debate about drug prices. Who pays and how much is complicated. Manufacturers get blamed (sometimes rightly) for high prices, and pharmacists face sick, angry patients whose prescriptions cost too much. Most of the time, there is an invisible third-party between the pharmacist and the patient. It's time to look at the multi-billion dollar industry in the middle of nearly every prescription drug transaction. (Antonio Ciaccia, 12/11)