New federal prescription drug policy will lower prices

New federal prescription drug policy will lower prices, Northeast Ohio health policy experts say

The White House unveiled a series of health policies and guidelinesDec. 8 designed to lower prescription drug and other health care costs by targeting what administration officials say are anticompetitive practices by pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and insurance companies in health.

The Biden administration’s proposal includes a framework that establishes, for the first time, cost as a factor in determining whether to extend licenses for new drugs or other medical treatments made using dollars. to the taxpayer of additional companies. The government allows more companies to sell a drug

The White House proposal would allow another company to develop a drug if a corporation used taxpayer dollars to develop it and then overcharge consumers.

The cost to consumers should be considered when deciding whether to extend licenses because taxpayers help fund the development of these new drugs and treatments, said White House Domestic Advisor Neera Tanden.

“If drug companies won’t sell taxpayer-funded drugs at reasonable prices, we’re willing to allow other companies to provide drugs for less,” White House Domestic Policy Advisor Lael Brainard said during in an announcement on December 6. “When American taxpayers pay to help invent a prescription drug, drug companies must sell it to the American public at a reasonable price.”

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Local public health experts said this policy change should make a big difference for local consumers, especially seniors living on a fixed income.

This policy will put guardrails on for-profit companies, said Loren Anthes of the Center for Community Solutions to Ideastream Public Media.

“I think this is an appropriate regulatory response to ensure that especially when it comes to tax dollars, that these entities achieve quality and efficiency appropriately and do not leave … people who rely on Medicare and Medicaid and market etc. services to receive health care in general,” he said.

This policy will help senior residents get the medications they need as well as other important supports, said Tommy York, of the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging.

“For our people that we serve here who are on a limited income, to be able to go and get an EpiPen, that’s expensive,” he said. “It’s not always covered. It’s a life-saving treatment, right? So being able to negotiate prices and create competition … will allow our members, our consumers, to pay a life-saving treatment.”

It also allows Medicare Advantage plans to spend more on other services, York said. Medicare Advantage are Medicare plans offered by private companies.

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Applying the savings from this proposed drug policy will allow plans to “look at other supplemental benefits that help reduce the social determinants of health,” he said. “That’s just a piece of mind there.”

These additional benefits go beyond health care, York said.

“Transportation, food insecurity, housing — I mean, there are all these other needs that are still out there that we can go after with these funds that can be saved,” he said.

The proposal will now go through a public comment period where the public and others, including companies and associations, can evaluate the proposal. The public comment period ends on February 6.

In addition to the proposed drug pricing policy, the administration also announced plans to investigate what it says are a growing number of anticompetitive mergers and acquisitions in the health care industry that could lead to higher drug costs. – health care.

The White House directed the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Health and Human Services to issue a joint request for information to review “to seek input on how the increased power of private and other corporations and control our health. care affects the American people,” according to a Dec. 7 fact sheet issued by the White House. “The agencies will use this joint Request for Information to identify areas for future regulation and enforcement prioritization, and they will continue to collaborate on case referrals, reciprocal training programs, sharing of data, and further development of additional health care competition policy initiatives.”

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The White House also announced that it plans to try to increase transparency about the ownership of health facilities and the operation of Medicare Advantage plans.

Transparency about medical facility ownership helps consumers understand how different facilities stack up in terms of safety, cost and performance, according to the fact sheet.

“Making ownership information transparent allows for the identification of common owners with histories of poor performance, analysis of trends in how market consolidation affects consumers, and evaluate relationships between ownership and changes in health care costs and outcomes,” the fact sheet states.

Transparency about Medicare Advantage plans will help ensure that these plans, which the White House says account for nearly 50% of Medicare enrollment nationwide, provide adequate access and quality coverage.