Drugs Cost Too Much—The Problem Is Still The Price

posted by Matt Eyles, President & CEO, AHIP

on February 8, 2019

Americans should pay less for their medications—the problem is the prices drug makers set. And the consequences hurt consumers, patients, and hardworking taxpayers. (Don’t Blame Drug Prices on ‘Big Pharma’, Feb. 3, 2019)

Big Pharma wants to shift the blame to health insurance providers, who fight for consumers every day, using their bargaining power to negotiate lower prices. But casting blame for high drug prices on insurance providers, pharmacy benefit managers (PBM), or others is the definition of fake news. Is Expedia to blame for rising airline ticket prices? Is Amazon responsible for rising prices on baby diapers? Of course not: It’s the product manufacturer who sets the price.

Let’s be clear—the savings insurance providers negotiate are returned directly to consumers through lower premiums and out-of-pocket costs. We stand ready to ensure there are no barriers for drug manufacturers to voluntarily reduce their prices. Working with our PBM partners, we already save patients up to 50 percent on their yearly prescriptions and related costs. And we will save Americans more than $650 billion over the next decade.

But when Big Pharma raises, for example, the price of top-selling drug Humira by 248 percent over five years, consumers and patients feel it. Abbvie needs only to look in the mirror.

Let’s stop the nonsensical blame-shifting. Let’s work together to hold Big Pharma accountable.

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