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Breakthrough Drugs: Astronomical Prices, No End In Sight?

posted by Alicia Caramenico

on October 8, 2015

AHIP’s Matt Eyles: “Pharmaceutical company pricing is a black box. There’s really no transparency into how those prices are set.”

Yesterday on NBC Nightly News, AHIP Executive Vice President Matt Eyles addressed the “black box” of pharmaceutical pricing and why it’s a big problem for patients.

Pharmaceutical companies and pharmaceutical prices are really an unregulated frontier. What we see out there is that they are able to charge whatever they can and whatever the market will bear, without any questions to the underlying value of a drug or its underlying cost of production.

The NBC Nightly News segment looked at the astronomical price tags for cystic fibrosis drugs, which can cost more than $300,000 per patient per year – a cost paid every year over the course of a lifetime. But patients like Klyn Elsbury are pushing back against drugmakers for charging outrageous prices for vital medications and ultimately putting an “unjustifiable” price on their lives.

Health plans are doing their part to make sure patients have access to the medications they need, including Klyn’s cystic fibrosis treatment. However, her situation demonstrates that health plans can’t do it alone; drugmakers must do their part and set affordable prescription drug prices.

You can watch last night’s full story, “They Put a Price on My Life’: Cost of Cystic Fibrosis Drugs is Sky-High,” below.