High costs of medications are at a critical point for American families

The Trump administration released its blueprint to lower drug prices and reduce out-of-pocket costs entitled “American Patients First” in May of 2018 and have achieved few successes due to heavy opposition from pharmacy benefit managers and insurers.

“Last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi introduced a sweeping proposal that would redesign the drug reimbursement system for all payers – including private companies – and would fundamentally interrupt innovation. The so-called ‘Lower Drug Costs Now Act’ (H.R. 3) focuses its ire at the pharmaceutical manufacturers with no regard for the middlemen within the supply chain that have influenced the significant increases in list prices. The Bill speaks to negotiation and the use of an international pricing index by HHS but the government does not negotiate, it mandates. Price fixing and pricing caps have done more to inflate costs in healthcare than to help patients achieve more affordability. Direct pharmacy or direct dispensing by physicians in the preponderance of states throughout the nation have resulted in low-cost medications that are affordable and typically less than a copay,” said Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Director of Right on Health Care David Balat.

He said TPPF is opposed to H.R. 3 and any attempt to tie pricing to an international index.

"It attempts to institute price controls on medications not only for the Medicare and Medicaid programs, but on all private industries, as well. And, that is much too intrusive policy, much more than we want the federal government involved in," said Balat.

He said drug costs are out of control and they’ll get even costlier under the Democrat's proposed drug pricing bill.

"This bill is really a forward step towards "Medicare For All" single payer system, without calling it that because it nationalizes pricing for medications and pharmaceuticals," said Balat.

He said the federal government can do much more by repealing existing rules and regulations.

Currently, there is a safe harbor for the middleman in the pharmaceutical supply chain, which protects them from the anti-kickback statute.Balat added the repeal of the safe harbor for drug middleman is necessary to have affordable medications.

He said there are more administrators than physicians causing administrative burdens on healthcare providers.

Balat urged voters to contact their elected officials and tell them this is not the direction the country should be going in—especially letting them know the repeal of the safe harbor for drug middleman is necessary to have affordable medications.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation data--inflation-adjusted per capita spending on retail prescription drugs between 2013 and 2016 grew exponentially.

CVS research shows that 20 percent of Medicare patients are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days and half of them are considered to be due to non-adherence.

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