Patient groups to HHS: Do these 5 things to lower drug costs

In an April 23 letter to HHS, 124 patient groups urged the department to take actions that would lead to decreased prescription costs, saying expensive price tags often lead to decreased medication adherence and worse patient outcomes.

The letter was co-authored by the HIV + Hepatitis Policy Institute and the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association. Among its signatories were the Human Rights Campaign, National Alliance on Mental Illness, AIDS United and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

The organizations recommended HHS complete the following five action items:

  1. Enforce the Affordable Care Act's nondiscrimination provisions.

  2. Establish cost-sharing caps for patients.

  3. Require insurers to offer plans that include first-dollar coverage for prescriptions.

  4. Count copay assistance toward patients' annual deductibles or out-of-pocket maximums.

  5. Institute a policy requiring commercial health plans and pharmacy benefits managers to share negotiated savings directly with patients at the pharmacy counter.

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