Perspectives: Trump Is Forcing Pharma To ‘Come Clean’ About Drug Prices In TV Ads. If Only It Were That Simple.
Read recent commentaries about drug-cost issues.
Grandstanding, Not Real Change: Drug Prices In TV Ads Won't Help
In a fit of hubris, President Trump believes he is making drug makers “come clean” by forcing them to mention list prices in their TV ads. If only it were that simple. The reality is that last week’s mandate may, indeed, prod recalcitrant drug makers to pay more attention to pricing and, in some cases, cast this or that company in a greedy light. But for the most part, the numbers that will soon flash across screens are likely to be confusing and, in many cases, irrelevant. (Ed Silverman, 5/13)
Don't Import Prescription Drugs
Prescription drug pricing has been the subject of much debate over the last year. Pharmaceutical manufacturers have taken most of the blame and were recently called before Congress to answer for their actions. Several states are looking at importing drugs from Canada as an answer to the concerns over high prescription costs. In fact, in a move reportedly supported by the Trump Administration, the Florida legislature recently approved a plan to import drugs from Canada where prices are lower, rather than purchasing them domestically. Importation programs like the ones proposed in Florida are neither safe nor effective ways to lower the price of medications. (Brooklyn Roberts, 5/12)
The New York Times:
Americans Need Generic Drugs. But Can They Trust Them?
In the fall of 2012, a young consumer safety officer at the Food and Drug Administration volunteered for a job that few of his colleagues wanted: inspecting the Indian manufacturing plants that make many of America’s low-cost generic drugs. In a world of drab auditors, Peter Baker stood apart. He rode a motorcycle and had tattoos lining one arm. Beyond his love of adventure, Mr. Baker, then 32, had a more pragmatic reason to volunteer. By reputation, India was the world leader in aseptic manufacturing, the exacting science of producing sterile drugs. He figured that after reviewing best practices there, he’d return to the United States with expert knowledge that would advance his career. (Katherine Eban, 5/11)
Trump Has The Right Target For Lowering Drug Prices: Rebates
No one should ever be forced to forgo or ration a necessary medicine. But this has become a common practice in America due to the high patient costs of prescription medications. Our current medication system has grown into a tangle of high list prices, misaligned incentives, closed-door negotiations, and increasing out-of-pocket costs, trends that utterly ignore the needs of the patient. (Olivier Brandicourt and Stephen J. Ubh, 5/10)
Trump Administration's Good Effort On Drug Rebates Is Bad Policy
Earlier this month, the Congressional Budget Office delivered bad news for anyone hoping for a quick fix on the high price of prescription drugs. The CBO projected that a rule proposed in January by the Department of Health and Human Services aimed at lowering out-of-pocket costs on pharmaceuticals would actually cause federal spending to rise without cutting drug prices across the board. (John Arnold, 5/15)
US Should Be Producing The HIV Prevention Drug Its Research Helped Create
When my uncle died of AIDS in 1984, at just 42 years old and in the prime of his life, the idea that the epidemic could be ended through prophylaxis was only a dream. Back then, patients just hoped to make it to their next birthday, to not lose any friends that week, or that more would not die undiagnosed, as my uncle did. Today, not only is HIV infection manageable but we can actually arrest its spread — if only more people could afford to take the highly effective prophylactic treatment known in the U.S. as Truvada. (Dana Brown, 5/14)
Cancer Patients Should Be Treated By Their Doctors, Not Pharmacy Benefit Managers
When I must tell a patient that she or he has cancer, that diagnosis comes with the explicit promise that I will provide timely treatment, including medicines aimed at curing cancer or extending life as long as possible. But an insidious interloper now often comes between me and my patients. I’m talking about pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), the middlemen that have introduced a bureaucratic and nightmarish system of delays and denials into filling prescriptions. I’m not alone. (Jeff Vacirca, 5/9)