CAHC Applauds Subcommittee Passage of the Pharmaceutical Information Exchange Act

Bill promotes affordability and access by enabling more timely coverage determinations and formulary design

WASHINGTON, DC (January 17, 2018): The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) – a coalition of employers, insurers, life science companies, PBMs, brokers, agents, patient groups, and physician organizations – applauded today’s House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee passage of H.R. 2026, the Pharmaceutical Information Exchange Act 
The legislation is a key component of CAHC’s Prescriptions for Affordability initiative and would allow for pre-FDA approval communications between drug manufacturers and health plans, thereby enabling quicker coverage determinations and speedier access to breakthrough treatments for patients most in need.
CAHC President Joel White released the following statement:
“Patients and their families know that approval of breakthrough treatments by the FDA is always a step in the right direction but, oftentimes, many hurdles remain before the medication they need reaches their hands. For too long, one such obstacle has been the government-created gap between approval of the drug by FDA and coverage determinations by the insurer. Communication barriers between manufacturers and payers concerning the safety, efficacy, and value of medicines unnecessarily delay health plans’ ability to make informed decisions for a given treatment, and end up shortchanging patients in the process,” said CAHC President Joel White. “Since the launch of our Prescriptions for Affordability campaign last spring, CAHC has aggressively advocated for reforms such as the Pharmaceutical Information Exchange Act that would untie the hands of manufacturers and insurers; allowing them to proactively and confidentially share needed information prior to FDA approval. This would, in turn, help drive accurate, timely evaluations for new treatments and incentivize the uptake of value-based arrangements. We are pleased to see that Washington is responding to our efforts and we thank Rep. Brett Guthrie for his leadership on this legislation that will promote greater affordability and access.”
White concluded, “Moving forward, CAHC will continue working with our champions on Capitol Hill to ensure timely considering of the Pharmaceutical Information Exchange Act by the full Energy and Commerce Committee, and looks forward to shepherding the bill towards final passage and enactment in due time.” 

The Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC) is a broad-based alliance with a primary focus: bringing down the cost of health care for all Americans. CAHC promotes policies that lower health costs through increased competition, informed consumers and more choices to help promote access to affordable coverage. 

CAHC unveiled its Prescriptions for Affordability initiative in May of 2017, 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. 

As part of the plan, CAHC called on policymakers to “address communication barriers between manufacturers and payers to enable better coverage determination and pricing accuracy,” adding that “information showing the full range of research outcomes – positive, negative, and inconclusive – should be confidentially shared to help drive the most accurate evaluations for a treatment.”

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