CSRxP Releases Comments on Drug Price Blueprint

The Department of Health and Human Services is taking a good first step in the effort to reduce excessively high list prices, the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing said today in comments in response to the HHS’ request for information on the Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices.

While the Blueprint is a step in the right direction with many thoughtful and innovative ideas to tackle this crisis, CSRxP also urges HHS to implement policies that go further in addressing the root cause of the problem: the out-of-control list and launch prices set by brand-name drug manufacturers and the inevitable price hikes that follow.

The full document offers comment on policies in the Blueprint that we agree will lower drug costs; those that, while very well-intentioned, unfortunately will not lower prescription drug spending for most patients and taxpayers; and recommends a number of additional bipartisan, market-based policies that will increase affordability and promote innovation in drug development.

Additionally, an executive summary is here.

CSRxP’s comments applaud the Administration’s focus on reducing out-of-control drug prices, noting in part,

CSRxP appreciates and welcomes the Department’s interest in finding ways to improve the affordability of prescription drugs and reduce the unsustainable growth in drug costs for U.S. consumers and taxpayers. . . . CSRxP welcomes HHS’s “Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs” as a good first step in the effort to reduce excessively high list prices and lower overall prescription drug costs for consumers and taxpayers.  The Blueprint includes a number of thoughtful and creative ideas on innovative methods to reduce prescription drug spending.  

While CSRxP supports many of the proposals in the blueprint, the comments also note that there is more to be done to address the root cause of this crisis: list and launch prices set by drug manufacturers.

That said, CSRxP firmly believes that more can and should be done to bring high drug prices down.  Policies must be implemented to address the root of the problem: brand drug manufacturers set list prices too high and continue to increase them at high rates.  Prescription drug costs will continue to grow at unsustainable rates unless serious actions are taken to thwart the pricing practices of the brand industry.  Without addressing the root cause of the problem, many American patients, particularly those on limited incomes, will continue facing choices they should never have to make between buying groceries for their families or purchasing the medications they need to get well and stay healthy.