June 17, 2021
ACHP backs concrete efforts by the federal government to reign in high drug costs, such as empowering Medicare negotiations.
by Ceci Connolly, President and CEO, Alliance of Community Health Plans
Despite consumer outcries for years, prescription drug companies have profited immensely under a system that affords them monopolistic powers to set prices devoid of government or public scrutiny.
And during the pandemic, while much of the economy took a beating, the pharmaceutical industry continued to benefit from the high prices they charge. In fact, 9 of the 10 biggest profit margins recorded last summer belonged to drug companies.
For years, health care players have skirted around concrete actions to truly impact drug prices. Proposals focused on market solutions have time and time again failed to curb Big Pharma’s price hikes and drug makers’ anticompetitive tactics that block patient access to lower-cost alternatives.
The time for drastic action is here.
In a new op-ed for The Health Care Blog, I lay out concrete reforms that can make a real, lasting impact for consumers and the entire health system—including aggressive action the federal government can take to negotiate and regulate lower drug costs.
Suggesting these reforms is not something we at ACHP take lightly. We believe in the private sector’s ability to innovate and deliver high-value coverage and care. Government intervention shouldn’t be the first solution. It should be a last resort.
And that is where we find ourselves when it comes to inexplicably high drug prices. We as a country are desperate for change.
It’s time for our elected leaders to step in where the market has failed and exert some control over the runaway cost of prescription drugs. Failing to do so will cost all the rest of us dearly.