CAPD responds to White House announcement on high drug prices

The Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD), a diverse group of employers, labor unions, health plans, and state employees and retirees, today issued the following statement in response to the Administration’s proposal to help rein in the high cost of prescription drug prices:

“We share the concerns of a majority of Americans and the Administration about the rising cost of prescription drugs. Access to the most effective and affordable drugs is one of the most critical issues facing health care today. The rising costs of prescription drugs start at the list price, which are set by the pharmaceutical companies. To be effective, any proposal must deal with the list price directly.

“For years, drug companies have been raising prices of prescription drugs at rates far exceeding inflation, effectively pricing patients out of the medicines they need.  Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) play a critical role in protecting consumers and keeping drug prices down. PBMs tools reduce pharmacy cost trends, decrease overall health care cost, and improve quality.

“The top priority must be to bring down the high list prices set by drug manufacturers and to ensure seniors aren’t bearing the cost through higher Medicare premiums. The Administration must take action to encourage greater competition and end drug manufacturers’ manipulation of the patent system that has kept lower cost prescription drugs, such as generics and biosimilars, from reaching consumers more quickly.

“We look forward to sharing our ideas with the Administration and Congress as they consider proposals to ensure all Americans are able to access the prescription drugs they need.”