Statement by NCHC President and CEO John Rother on President Trump’s plan to address rising prescription drug prices
“The National Coalition on Health Care has focused on rising drug costs as a key driver of unsustainable increases in the cost of healthcare for American consumers, employers, and taxpayers. The President today embraced some important, constructive ideas. We hope today’s speech will be a catalyst for a broader, more bipartisan debate about even more effective alternatives.
“The President’s plan takes useful steps toward to a more rational drug market: demanding price transparency in drug ads and promoting competition from lower-cost biosimilar and generic alternatives. But if progress stops there, we will fail to adequately constrain costs for most consumers or for the healthcare system as a whole.
“Today’s policy blueprint would not have prevented the two most notorious instances of price gouging – the introduction of Sovaldi at a price of $1000 per pill, and the actions of Martin Shkreli in suddenly raising the price of the brand name drug Daraprim from $13.50 to $750 because his company was the sole remaining producer.
“This is a crisis. The twenty most prescribed drugs in Medicare Part D increased ten times the rate of inflation over the last five years. Some drugs are so prohibitively expensive that patients can’t afford them. Building on the good ideas advanced today, we need to work together, across parties and across sectors, to develop a national strategy that is commensurate with the scale of this crisis.
“To be successful in slowing these price increases, we will need strong medicine.”