Joined by a panel of health care experts, the Campaign’s John Rother started the conversation by highlighting the importance of finding a sustainable solution to drug pricing. “Patients and families worry about the cost of the drugs they need,” Rother explained to a packed house of over 150 people at the Newseum in Washington D.C. “To ensure access to affordable treatments, we need transparency, competition, and value-based pricing.”
Rick Pollack, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, echoed Rother’s comments. Without market-based solutions to drug pricing, it’s nearly impossible to “strike a balance between preserving innovation and ensuring affordability.” Pollack added that prices for brand-name drugs have surged 127% since 2008, compared with an 11% rise in the Consumer Price Index.
Speaking on behalf of AARP, Dr. Debra Whitman, the group’s chief public policy officer, joined the discussion touting the importance of CSRxP’s policy proposals – particularly the need for greater transparency to lower soaring drug prices. “Transparency will help people understand how medication prices are set,” Dr. Whitman explained, adding that “consumers desperately want innovation, but innovation that’s unaffordable is meaningless.”
Dr. Sameer Awsare with Kaiser Permanente agreed that without a sustainable pricing solution in place, prescription drug spending will continue on its dangerous path. “At Kaiser Permanente, we do everything in the health care space from seeing patients and negotiating with drug companies to filling prescriptions and researching drug adherence,” said Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente the morning of the event. “The specific policy proposals put forward by the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing are important first steps towards lowering prescription drug prices in the United States.”
The facts are clear: drug prices in the United States are too high and sharply rising prescription drug prices threaten the affordability of health care and the vitality of our entire economy. “Today’s policy release is a turning point in the drug pricing conversation,” said Robert Doherty, senior vice president of the American College of Physicians.