A major component of the plan, which aims to lower costs and the deficit, is to address high prescription drug costs. The plan calls on Congress to lower prescription drug prices and premiums through Medicare negotiation, insulin caps, and inflation rebates. To read the full plan, click here.
The ARC program launch follows the introduction of House user fee legislation, which included provisions to increase access to affordable and safe treatments for rare diseases. The program is expected to “identify solutions for the challenges in rare disease drug development” and increase the available treatments for rare diseases, according to the FDA. To read the press release, click here.
While pharmaceutical manufacturers claim high prices are necessary to compensate for the high cost of developing a successful drug, this report found top brand name drugs recouped their development costs many times over between 2016-2020 alone. The report uses the drug industry’s estimate of $2.6 billion as the cost of developing a new drug and found that all top 10 Part D drugs exceeded $2.6 billion in Part D expenditures during the study period. On average, Part D spending on a single drug was more than five times higher than the cost to develop a new drug, ranging from $27.2 billion (Eliquis) to $4.9 billion (Jardiance). To read the full report, click here.
The report focuses on transparency programs, increased PBM oversight, interstate programs that increase purchasing power, and caps on consumer out-of-pocket costs. Among the most popular reforms that states are utilizing is increasing transparency requirements; fourteen states have enacted laws requiring increased reporting of data such as price increases or PBM aggregate rebate amounts. This data is expected to be used to enact future policies to lower prices for consumers. Meanwhile, more than 20 states have created out-of-pocket caps on specific drugs, most commonly insulin, to reduce the burden of high costs immediately. To read the full report, click here.
Ge Bai spoke with reporters at Axios on prescription drug rebate increases. Bai explains the rebate increases as an equity issue, as sick patients are “paying more than their fair share for the drug and the rebate goes back to the plan to reduce premiums for the healthy.” To read more, click here.
Stacie Dusetzina analyzed the how much Medicare prescription drug plan beneficiaries have to pay if they do not have low-income subsidies in a New England Journal of Medicine Perspective. Dusetzina analyzed the out-of-pocket spending of the top 10 Medicare expenditure anticancer drugs and found that non-LIS beneficiaries would pay an average of $10,000-$15,000 for one year for just a single drug. To read the full study, click here.