What can we do about drug prices? |

Prescription drug prices are like the weather.

Everyone is talking about them.

But no one does anything about them.

A report from the National Conference of State Legislatures quotes delegate Bonnie Cullison, a Democrat from Maryland, as saying, “The finger-and-blame game that always occurs is frustrating. Manufacturers blame insurers and PBMs, PBMs blame manufacturers and insurers, and insurers blame manufacturers and PBMs – patients should not be caught in the middle of this circle.

The report says that a third of Americans take at least one drug per year, and about 19.1% of people aged 45 to 64 take five or more.

The United States Government Accountability Office reports that retail prescription drug spending accounts for almost 11% of all personal health care spending, up from 9.8% in 2010.

And the report notes that “research shows that as access to medications and patient compliance decline, the prevalence of poor health outcomes increases – a major contributor to overall health care costs.”

The old scenario of buying drugs or groceries.

Prescription drugs can both save lives and improve the quality of life for people with health problems, according to the report.

But drugs can’t work if patients don’t take them as prescribed.

One study found that 36% of patients said they did not take their medications as prescribed to save money.

Because states pay for Medicaid drugs and health plans for state employees as well as inmates, they spend 4-5% of their Medicaid budget on drugs, according to the report.

This represented a total of $ 66.7 billion in 2019.

GoodRx research found that since 2014, the price of brand-name drugs has increased 33%, more than the majority of all other health goods and services, including hospital and physician services, according to the report.

The report recommended that states source pharmaceuticals through purchasing pools and alternative payment models, enter into import agreements with other countries, encourage or introduce competition in the market. supply chain, increase state oversight of market competition, and reform pharmacy benefit management practices.

We’ll see if that happens.

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