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. But 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.
That’s why NCHC supports bipartisan solutions that advance transparency, competition and value in prescription drugs, including
- Bar brand name manufacturers from denying samples to generic competitors through legislation such as the FAST Generics Act or CREATES Act;
- Reduce the backlog of generic drug applications at the Food and Drug Administration, and prioritize FDA approval of applications for classes of drugs with no or limited generic competition;
- Take steps to promote the development of a robust biosimilars market; and
- Focus the Orphan Drug Act’s incentives to develop medicines for true rare diseases.