Today’s drug pricing trends, particularly in the specialty drug sector, seriously threaten the affordability of health care in the United States. For years, patients and purchasers have shouldered prices of more than $100,000 a year for certain medicines – particularly those that treat relatively rare disorders. In a concerning new development, the industry is increasingly applying rare-disease pricing to treatments for diseases afflicting millions: hepatitis, cancer, high cholesterol, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. If this trend is left unchecked, American health care will soon face an untenable choice: reduce access to medications needed to manage common chronic conditions or face increasingly unaffordable cost burdens.
NCHC supports bipartisan solutions that advance transparency, competition, and value in prescription drugs, including
- Leveraging Medicare to negotiate prices for a limited number of the highest cost drugs
- Constraining both high launch prices and untenable increases in prices above inflation
- Mitigating unintended consequences, such as cost-shifting to commercial markets from Medicare negotiation and premium increases in Employer Group Waiver Plans
- Reducing anti-competitive behavior by pharmaceutical manufacturers, e.g. patent abuses
Recent publications from NCHC on this topic: