Drugmakers are treating patients, providers 'like piggy banks,' AHA chief says

Pharmaceutical companies have been taking advantage of patients and healthcare providers by hiking the prices of the drugs they rely on, American Hospital Association CEO Richard Pollack wrote in an opinion piece March 1.

Citing statistics that show a 20 percent increase in average hospital and health system  drug spending per admission between 2015 and 2017, on top of a 38 percent increase in inpatient drug spending per admission between 2013 and 2015, Mr. Pollack concludes in the piece on the association's website that "drug companies and their shareholders have been treating America’s patients and providers like a piggy bank."  

While drug companies have been taking advantage of the system for years, the Feb. 26 hearing that placed top pharmaceutical executives before the Senate Finance Committee to answer questions about their drug-pricing was important, Mr. Pollack wrote.

The hearing finally challenged the pattern "of price-gouging that can force patients to choose between getting their medication or putting food on the table, [and] it also represents one of the real opportunities for bipartisan progress in health policy before the 2020 election," he wrote.

"We're going to keep working to hold the drugmakers accountable and make prescription drugs more affordable," Mr. Pollack said.

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'Wacky' rebate system to blame for high patient drug prices, FDA chief says

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