Prescriptions for Affordability

Positive Reforms to Improve Prescription Drug Competition, Value and Innovation

The cost of health care is rising faster than wages, expanding a dangerous gap between the care consumers need and the care they can afford. Currently, there is a focus on one subset of health care spending because it is the most accessed part of the health care system: prescription drugs. As policy makers look for solutions to lower health care costs, we believe it is important to offer reforms firmly rooted in competitive markets and incentives that promote value, innovation, transparency and appropriate access to treatment.

Despite spirited debate from all areas of the health care system and in Washington, we have yet to see a consensus-based approach that engages a wide range of affected stakeholders in a concerted effort to address drug costs and overall health care spending. 

To this end, CAHC is working with our broad membership, including: benefit managers, drug manufacturers, insurers, patients, consumers and employers to create proactive, bipartisan policy solutions that will lower costs. 

Our policy solutions focus on:

  1. Increasing Competition: Bring more generics and brands to the market to drive down costs and increase choices.

  2. Rewarding Value: Reform outdated laws that prevent rewards for better outcomes and lower costs. 

  3. Improving Data Infrastructure & Utilization: Create better infrastructure and streamline processes needed to bring value-based arrangements and higher value treatments to market.

  4. Preserving What Works: Reject policies that undermine functioning markets, hamper innovation, or jeopardize safety or access.

As complex and revolutionary medicines come to market, we must not lose sight of the value that private market tools have provided to make medicine affordable and available. Policies that rely solely on government intervention without incentive for market competition will do little to control the rising cost of prescription drugs.  The answer must come from all sectors, payers to manufacturers, working together to find commonsense solutions.
— Dr. Steven Miller, Chief Medical Officer, Express Scripts
BIO is excited to promote these principles to advance market-based policies that can improve patient access to medications and lower costs by driving value in our health care system. As the world’s largest biotechnology trade association, we’re committed to ensuring that patients can access the medicines prescribed to them by their doctors in a way that fosters the continued development of tomorrow’s cutting-edge therapies. This coalition will work to advance policies that lower costs, speed cures to market and empower patients to make informed choices about their health. Enhancing competition in the market gives us our best opportunity to lower drug prices. To date, our government’s policy decisions to incentivize biomedical innovation, reward risk-taking and avoid heavy-handed price controls have allowed American biopharmaceutical companies to produce more new cures and treatments than the rest of the world combined. We have an opportunity to build on that success. As biopharmaceutical research breakthroughs help us cure previously incurable diseases, policies that promote value-based payment will give us the ability to tie the price paid for a medicine to its positive impact on a particular patient’s health. We will work through this coalition to remove regulatory barriers that stand in the way of such innovative, market-based payment solutions.
— Jim Greenwood, CEO, BIO
Prescription drugs are improving and extending the lives of millions of people; now, some can even cure you of your disease. Patients have been in the middle of the drug pricing debate, frequently caught in between the pharmaceutical and insurance companies.  We congratulate the Council for bringing together a diverse set of stakeholders. As a result of their work, we hope these changes will result in lower patient costs without compromising access to the medications patients need to stay healthy and alive.
— Carl Schmid, Deputy Executive Director, The AIDS Institute