How beneficial are drug price transparency measures? 5 thoughts
While drug price transparency legislation may not actually lower drug prices, it could provide valuable insight into whether a drug's price is reasonable, reports The Hill.
Here are five things to know.
1. Fifteen states have filed legislation seeking to boost transparency surrounding drug prices this year, according to the report, which cites data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. The bills would require drug companies to share specific information on how they price their drugs and what they spend their money on, according to the report.
2. Aaron Kesselheim, MD, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston, believes transparency initiatives are more "palatable" than strategies addressing price limitations or patent protections, according to the report.
"Who could be opposed to transparency?" Dr. Kesselheim said in The Hill report. "To the extent that all of them are difficult hills to climb, that one might be easier because we're not changing anything, we just want things to be more open. So that seems more doable in the short term."
3. The drug industry and lobbyists argue transparency on drug prices does not give consumers a complete understanding of drug development and would be bad for competition. They believe consumers would rather know how much they're being charged for a drug and why only some medications are covered by payers, according to the report.
"It wouldn't do anything for patients," Kirsten Axelsen, Pfizer's vice president for global policy told The Hill. "It wouldn't do anything to bring down the price of drugs."
4. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., in 2016 filed a bill that would require drug companies to submit a report — containing information on development costs, marketing spending, etc. — 20 days prior to increasing the price of a drug by more than 10 percent.
5. While Dr. Kesselheim agrees transparency measures won't lower drug prices, he said they do offer a better understanding of drugmakers' costs associated with producing the drug, which helps state payers and policymakers assess how fair the price is, reports The Hill.
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