No more 'sucker at the table': New lobby to represent Fortune 500 firms paying prescription drug bills

Tired of being "the sucker at the table," a group representing Fortune 500 companies has formed a lobby to push congressional drug-pricing policies that focus beyond Medicare, STAT reported. 

EmployersRx is a joint project of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, the Pacific Business Group on Health, the ERISA Industry Committee, and the Silicon Valley Employers Forum. 

The group has described its goal as "to mobilize large employers to drive down prescription drug costs by advocating for public policies based on increased competition, transparency and value," STAT said.

Roughly 61 percent of workers are covered by plans under which the employer pays for each employee's healthcare. However, most of the policy ideas to lower drug costs have focused on changes to Medicare. 

Michael Thompson, president of the National Alliance, told STAT that employers have "had enough of being the sucker at the table."

"Someone needs to represent the sector that is actually paying most of the bill," Bill Kramer, the executive director for national health policy at the Pacific Business Group on Health told STAT.

EmployersRx is hoping that its economic power of the business community can swing political dynamics in Washington, largely dominated by pharmaceutical industry players, such as the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. 

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