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Pass pharma discounts onto patients, not ‘highly-paid middlemen’, says expert | thepharmaletter

Dr Matthews said: “Price transparency in health care, and especially pharmaceuticals, has become a major policy debate.

“But price transparency is a problem in the whole health care system. Try calling a hospital to get a quote for the cost of an appendectomy. At least with prescription drugs, a patient can obtain and compare prices from pharmacies.

“What patients really care about is how much they have to pay out-of-pocket for their drugs. And health insurers have increasingly raised those out-of-pocket costs, especially for the newest and most innovative drugs. Legislation trying to deal with ‘price transparency’ won’t fix that problem.”

According to the panel, many Michiganders are seeing higher out-of-pocket costs largely due to the complex supply chain that absorbs many of the price discounts provided by drugmakers.

Mr Pitts said: “Drug companies don’t set the price consumers pay, PBMs, insurers and pharmacies do.

“PBMs and insurers negotiate significant reductions from the drug manufacturers’ ‘list price’ through a complex system of discounts, rebates and clawbacks, and then fail to pass most of those savings on to the consumer. The people who should benefit from those reductions are patients, not highly-paid middlemen.”

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Pass pharma discounts onto patients, not ‘highly-paid middlemen’, says expert.

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