CAHC Statement on Congressional Democrats' "Better Deal" for Prescription Drug Costs

WASHINGTON, DC (July 24, 2017): The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) – a coalition of employers, insurers, brokers, agents, patient groups, and physician organizations which recently unveiled its Prescriptions for Affordability initiative to address prescription drug access and affordability – responded today to the forthcoming release of Congressional Democrats' "Better Deal" for prescription drug costs.

CAHC President Joel White released the following statement: 

“We agree with Congressional Democrats that prescription drug costs must be addressed, which is why we have worked for months with stakeholders from all sides of the aisle on a plan to make medications more accessible. We commend Democrats for bringing attention to this issue,said CAHC President Joel White"Unfortunately, many of the proposals offered in Democratic leadership's 'Better Deal' could actually decrease the very access they are calling for. This proposal would seek to turn the Medicare prescription drug program - which already earns high marks from nine out of ten seniors – into a VA-style system with a national formulary. If a patient’s drug isn’t on the formulary, then they have no options to access it. The plan also says nothing of the thousands of generic drug applications languishing at the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) or of the numerous laws impeding the shift toward value-based payments that, if addressed, could quickly show a positive impact on consumer costs." 

White continued, "Instead of stoking controversy and highlighting the most contentious areas of the prescription drug debate, we encourage Democrats and Republicans to rally around bipartisan, actionable solutions. For example, our blueprint encourages the use of value-based arrangements to drive down prices - something policymakers as diverse as Representatives Diane Black (R-TN) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) are already working together to accomplish. By unleashing the market forces of competition, value, and innovation into the prescription drug sphere, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients who need it most. We have already done the hard work of bringing all factions of the healthcare industry together on a substantive plan that can reduce health costs by up to $71 billion a year and we invite Congressional Democrats to join us in that effort." 


###
 

Background:
The Council for Affordable Health Coverage unveiled its Prescriptions for Affordability initiative on May 17th, as reported in PoliticoWashington Examiner, Modern Healthcare, and others. The proposal offers a blueprint for lowering prescription drug costs supported by drug manufacturers, insurers, pharmacy benefit managers, patient advocates, and employer groups. 

On Wednesday, July 26th, CAHC is sponsoring an event on health care spending and prescription drug costs with The Hill entitled HealthRx: Building Affordability and Access. CAHC President Joel White will speak on the organization's Prescriptions for Affordability Initiative alongside BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood and Pharmaceutical Care Management Assocation (PCMA) President and CEO Mark Merritt. You can RSVP here