By CECI CONNOLLY
Equal treatment under the law. A foundational pillar of American life. Except when it comes to drug makers who benefit from favorable treatment by the federal government.
For far too long, prescription drug companies have profited immensely under a system that affords them monopolistic powers to set prices devoid of government or public scrutiny.
Even during the pandemic, while much of the economy took a beating, the pharmaceutical industry continued to benefit from the high prices they charge. In fact, 9 of the 10 biggest profit margins recorded last summer belonged to drug companies.
As the nation’s economy sputters back, Big Pharma continues to raise prices and block patient access to lower-cost alternatives. It is beyond time to tame the soaring prices of prescription drugs once and for all.
For years, health care players have skirted around concrete actions to truly impact drug prices. Efforts to cut costs for consumers have translated to higher costs for health plans, resulting in a cost shift instead of a cost reduction. We, as private, nonprofit insurers, believe in the ambition and innovation possible in a free market – but the market has failed in this instance and it’s time for the government to take action.
That is why the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) is putting its support behind reforms that can make a real, lasting impact for consumers and the entire health system. For the first time, a national health care payer organization is stepping up and supporting pragmatic and progressive reforms that can truly begin to rein in the price of prescription drugs.
This includes backing the dramatic step to grant the Secretary of Health and Human Services the power to negotiate lower prices for the highest-priced medications for which there is no competition, in addition to other actions.Continue reading…