Pharmaceutical prices have gotten so exorbitant that the government is taking heed. During President Trump’s administration, he introduced the American Patients First program in hopes to combat the current state of the Pharmaceutical industry.
“Excessively high drug prices, foreign freeloading and a system rigged to reward list price increases, are burdening the American people.” – Donald J Trump
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the United States has the highest per-capita pharmaceutical spending. These high prices are due to factors such as drug companies unfairly maintaining monopolies by keeping lower drug cost out of the market and the lack of transparency in drug pricing benefits special interest. Find out more about Pharmaceutical Cost Influencers.
President Trump and The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plan to counteract rising prescription drug prices with their two-phase blueprint. These phases are detailed in the 44-page document, titled American Patients First: The Trump Administration blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs. Phase one of the American Patients First plan involves actions the president “may direct HHS to take immediately,” while phase two involves actions the HHS is actively considering, for which the department is “soliciting feedback”.
Before detailing their strategies for improvement, the Trump administration’s blueprint identifies four challenges in the American drug market:
- High list prices for drugs.
- Seniors and government programs overpaying for drugs due to lack of the latest negotiation tools.
- High and rising out-of-pocket costs for consumers.
- Foreign governments free-riding off of American investment in innovation.
“…I have directed my Administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down.”
– Donald J Trump
The Trump Administration plans to address these challenges in the American drug market through four key strategies for reform:
This step proposes to take immediate actions to increase competition that include preventing manufacturer gaming of regulatory processes such as Risk Evaluation and Management Strategies (REMS) and plans to make changes in insurance benefit designs that shifted the burden of rising prices to consumers.
This strategy focuses on factors such as experimenting with value-based purchasing in federal programs and working across the Administration to assess the problem of foreign free-riding.
Incentives for Lower List Prices
This step includes a FDA evaluation that requires manufacturers to include lists prices in advertising, and updating Medicare’s drug-pricing dashboard to make price increase and generic competition more transparent.
Lowering Out-of-Pocket Costs
Actions to reduce patient out-of-pocket spending includes prohibiting “gag” orders from preventing pharmacists’ telling patients when they could pay less out-of-pocket by not using insurance, and requiring the inclusion of information pertaining to drug price increases and lower cost alternatives.
Why Wait? Receive Lower Prices Today
These strategies are already steps CoVest has been taking to ensure our members are garnering the best Pharmacy Benefits savings. CoVest works diligently with our member’s procurement teams to validate millions of dollars in savings within their Pharmacy Benefits spend. As we continue to make our Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) category stronger, CoVest has found that the PBM piece of a company’s health care benefits program is one area that is a true commodity: the more spend, the greater the discount.
This category is dominated by healthcare benefit consultants like Willis, Lockton, Aon, Mercer and others. These groups control the conversation by controlling the data. In controlling the data, they make a clear view of the flow of money between the numerous players in this space hard to attain. However, with our members’ combined leverage and our analytics processes, you still have opportunity for savings with CoVest.
CoVest believes in transparency and accuracy in everything we do and our Members appreciate our candor. We have aggressively targeted the PBM category to assist our members in controlling the rise of their employee healthcare costs. In our view, healthcare benefits are an expense that provide no true value creation for a company. Additionally, based on completed benchmarks, there are significant savings to be had.
CoVest is a Group Purchasing Organization, made up of only large companies, that provides leverage and analytics to assist our members in managing their Office, MRO and HR related indirect spend categories. Our members pay us nothing, we require no minimum usage nor mandate using our suppliers. Our goal is to conduct an accurate benchmark on a current spend to outline the benefit of purchasing the same items through an existing CoVest agreement.
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