With Drug-Pricing Proposals, PhRMA Aims To Show It Can Compromise
Read about the biggest pharmaceutical developments and pricing stories from the past week in KHN's Prescription Drug Watch roundup.
PhRMA’s New Message To Washington: Don’t Take Us For Granted
Pharmaceutical companies have a frank new message for Washington: Don’t take us for granted. The industry’s lobbying group, PhRMA, launched a new, seven-figure ad campaign Tuesday with that sentiment prominently laid out across the top, just above a clear reminder of the industry’s role in developing medicines and vaccines for Covid-19.The group is, at the same time, unveiling a new policy agenda that includes several unprecedented endorsements for drug pricing reforms that will actually ding industry profits, unlike past support for policies that focused on competitors or tiny tweaks. (Florko, 4/13)
PhRMA Chief Talks Strategy — And His Surprising Optimism On Drug Pricing
Steve Ubl, who leads the drug industry lobbying powerhouse PhRMA, has a bold prediction: Democrats might control the House, Senate, and White House, but Covid-19 has given pharma the advantage in the debate over drug pricing. It’s bold because there is not a single House Democrat who voted against H.R. 3, the ambitious Democratic drug pricing bill that the pharmaceutical industry detests. (Florko, 4/13)
Colorado Times Recorder:
Rally At Colorado Capitol Calls For Lower Prescription Drug Prices
On Friday, April 9 supporters of a Colorado bill that would create an independent board of experts to limit prescription drug prices gathered at the state Capitol building. The rally featured health care advocates and patients sharing their stories of having dealt with high prescription drug prices. The legislation, SB-175, introduced last month would create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board (or a PDAB) consisting of five non-partisan health care experts who could set upper pricing limits on exorbitantly priced prescription drugs. (Price, 4/12)
Tyson Foods Seeks Drug Prescription Savings For Employees
Tyson Foods Inc. is using the power of technology to help its U.S. employees and their families save money on prescription drugs, according to a company news release. The company is partnering with Rx Savings Solutions to provide a free, confidential online tool that gives team members and their covered dependents ways to pay less for the medications covered through the company’s health plan. The prescription drug savings software examines the medications a member takes and finds lower-cost options to treat the same conditions. The savings can be generic, less expensive forms of a name-brand drug or various options based on prescriptions taken. (4/13)
Are Hospitals Or Big Pharma More To Blame For Soaring Health Care Costs?
“It’s just appalling,” says Molly Smith, group vice president for public policy at the American Hospital Association. She’s talking about a new report from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). “Hospitals’ Practices Increase Costs of Medicines for Patients & Employers,” the press release blared, further claiming “the system routinely rewards hospitals for extracting two to three times more revenue from the sale of a medicine than the company who discovered and made it” when administered under a government program for getting drugs to the most vulnerable patient populations. Smith, steaming, is having none of it. “The program was solely created because of the high drug prices that [drugmakers] and they alone set,” she says. “And then when they’re upset that such a program got set up because of their egregious pricing practices, they come after it. They’re making hand over fist in profits. But, you know, anything that cuts into their bottom line …” (Colvin, 4/8)
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin Partly Right That Drug Price Hikes Outpace Inflation
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is revisiting a problem she’s fought against more than once during her time in office: high drug prices. The Wisconsin Democrat — joined by colleagues on both sides of the aisle — reintroduced legislation on March 23, 2021 that would require manufacturers to disclose and justify their decisions to increase prescription drug costs. Baldwin previously co-sponsored the bill with the late U.S. Sen. John McCain and highlighted it during her 2018 reelection bid. (BeMiller, 4/7)