by Alicia Caramencio
April 6, 2017
New, innovative medications offer tremendous promise in managing health conditions, but their price tags jeopardize access for the patients who need these treatments most.
Health plans are taking steps to address the high-cost of prescription drugs and to make sure patients have access to medications that are safe, effective, and affordable. This involves working with hospitals, physicians, policymakers, and consumers to find meaningful, market-based solutions that provide patients with more affordable choices.
How drug prices are established by drug companies remains a mystery. Greater transparency around drug research, development, and pricing will enable payers and providers to better understand the true value of medical innovations and help improve patient access to new medicines. More insight into clinical research and drug approval data would help physicians and patients choose the high-value treatment.
Without any competition from generic alternatives, drugmakers may charge whatever they want for their branded medication – prices that typically exceed $100,000 a year. That’s why generics are important for driving value. Efforts to shorten the exclusivity period for biologics and prohibit abuse of the patent process would promote greater price competition and earlier access to lower-cost generic drugs.
Patients need affordability and accessibility. And they can get that with a prescription drug market that promotes transparency and competition.