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Aetna Will Apply Pharmacy Rebates to Prescription Drugs in 2019 | HealthPayer Intelligence

“We have always believed that consumers should benefit from discounts and rebates that we negotiate with drug manufacturers,” said Mark T. Bertolini, Aetna chairman and CEO. “Going forward, we hope this additional transparency will encourage these companies to rationalize their pricing and end the practice of annual double-digit price increases.”

Aetna believes that improving prescription drug prices will involve changes to Medicare Part D, such as implementing the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) suggestion to put out-of-pocket maximums for drug spending in place.

MedPAC proposed to limit out-of-pocket costs for Medicare members to $5000 a year. The group also suggested a limit on coinsurance amounts to between $3.35 to $8.35 per prescription after a member hits the $5000 amount.

Aetna also supports price transparency by endorsing the elimination of gag clauses.

Gag clauses are policies that prohibit pharmacists from informing consumers when a cash purchase of a drug is cheaper than using their health plan. Aetna stated that it does not endorse or require gag clauses in pharmacy contracts.

The payer’s announcement follows policy discussion between federal leadership, payer organizations, and related stakeholders to provide fairer drug prices and protect consumers from rising prescription drug prices.

A Senate hearing at the end of 2017 proposed several policies to improve prescription drug prices.

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Aetna Will Apply Pharmacy Rebates to Prescription Drugs in 2019.