This is an important time to think about the future of programs and policies that support us as we age. Medicare marks its 50th Anniversary at the end of July. I’ve been around to witness much of the creation and evolution of health policy. After a 40-year career in Aging and Health Policy, first in the Senate, then at AARP, and now as head of the National Coalition on Health Care, I have a few observations about where things stand.
“These numbers paint a troubling picture for the future of the American economy. The dramatic rise in prescription drug spending proves that it is more important than ever to advance a solution to monopolistic drug pricing. We cannot afford to continue on this unsustainable path.”
“Breakthrough treatments such as Praluent hold tremendous medical promise for certain patients, but it’s price tag makes us question how long the health system can sustain these costs for patients managing chronic conditions over several years.”
PRESS STATEMENT: New Report Shows Medicare Spending Increase Driven By Specialty Drug Prices
Exorbitant price tags for specialty medications are taking a serious financial toll on state budgets. A new analysis released yesterday from the California Association of Health Plans (CAHP) shows that treating only 10 percent of 175,000 patients in state-funded health care programs with just three hepatitis C medications would cost California roughly $1-2 billion.
John Rother, President of the National Coalition on Health Care and Chair of the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing issued the following statement in response to a recent health tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation that found that an overwhelming 76% of Americans blame pharmaceutical companies for the rising cost of medicines.
May 21, 2015 Morning Consult: “New Cures, Old Problems: Poll Shows Drug Affordability Addles Americans” “The House Energy and Commerce Committee is slated to vote today on legislation that offers incentives to the pharmaceutical industry to develop new drugs and devices. But the bill does little immediately to address what a new Morning Consult poll found […]
May 20, 2015 “Prescription drug prices climb into the stratosphere” by Trudy Lieberman, Rural Health News Service Note: Article originally printed in Sterling Journal-Advocate. There’s no getting around it. Americans are using more medications and spending more for them. The latest evidence just came from Express Scripts, the pharmacy benefit manager, which acts as a middleman […]
ICYMI – May 15, 2015 ***** The New England Journal of Medicine: “The $2.6 Billion Pill — Methodologic and Policy Considerations” “Of course, it is extremely expensive and risky to develop a new medication…but as risky as drug development is, the pharmaceutical and biotech industries remain among the most profitable sectors of the U.S. economy and actually […]
May 14, 2015 The House Energy and Commerce Committee released an updated draft of the 21st Century Cures bill last night in a last minute effort to address concerns over drug exclusivity, interoperability and tele health before today’s markup. However, many organizations are still concerned about Congress’ lack of legislation to address high drug costs. Pew Charitable Trusts […]