Coalition Promotes Drug-Pricing Transparency

Hospitals, insurers, and businesses prod drug-makers

The Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing, a coalition of hospitals, insurers, and businesses, has released a policy proposal that aims to increase drug-pricing transparency and promote competition. The coalition includes the Federation of American Hospitals, the American Hospital Association, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Kaiser Permanente, and the AARP.

The proposal calls for the following reforms:

  • Releasing details of a drug’s unit price, the cost of treatment, and a projection on federal spending before FDA approval
  • Annually reporting increases in a drug’s list price
  • Disclosing the true research and development costs for drugs
  • Speeding FDA approval of generic drug applications, especially for lifesaving drugs
  • Reducing drug monopolies by incentivizing competition for additional market entrants
  • Strengthening post-marketing clinical trials and surveillance
  • Targeting exclusivity protections to the most-innovative products
  • Curbing misuse of the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) system
  • Promoting the uptake of biosimilars
  • Increasing funding for public and private research on drug pricing and value
  • Requiring drug-makers to compare the cost and outcomes of new drugs with those of existing therapies
  • Expanding value-based pricing in public programs

Not surprisingly, the pharmaceutical sector opposes any changes. An official with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America told the Washington Post that the coalition was a way for insurance companies to deflect scrutiny of their own role in drug pricing.

Sources: Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing; April 2016; and FierceHealthFinance; April 25, 2016.