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Debra Barrett Joins Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD) as Executive Director

Veteran health care advocate to represent health care purchasers and PBMs in drug pricing debate 

WASHINGTON, DC—The Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD) today announced that health care industry veteran Debra Barrett has joined as Executive Director. Barrett will be responsible for leading a broad-based group of pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) and health care purchasers who are singularly committed to bringing down prescription drug prices and improving access for millions of patients.

Barrett will oversee the coalition’s efforts to advocate for a prescription drug marketplace that supports robust competition, strong and informed negotiations and other tools that deliver affordability and access to quality care for consumers. Her appointment comes as rising prescription drug prices continue to present a growing challenge for consumers, employers, and government programs that seek to provide affordable health care coverage.

“I’m joining CAPD at a critical time in the drug pricing debate. This coalition’s members are committed to market-based solutions and policies that lower prices and improve outcomes for patients,” said Barrett. “This is a complex and dynamic issue that needs voices and perspective from every side to help solve the challenges we face. I look forward to focusing the conversation on how smart policies and private sector tools can help spur more competition, allow for more effective negotiation in the marketplace and ultimately drive down the cost of prescriptions for patients.”

The Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD) represents a diverse group of large employers, labor unions, health plans, public sector employees and retirees who partner with pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to help bring down the cost of prescription drugs so that they can continue to offer comprehensive drug benefit coverage to their employees and members. By negotiating on behalf of patients, businesses and government programs, PBMs play a critical role in protecting consumers, improving quality and keeping drug prices down for millions of Americans.

Barrett comes to CAPD with more than 25 years in health care advocacy work. She most recently spent over a decade at Teva Pharmaceuticals, the world’s largest generic drug manufacturer, as the global head of government affairs and public policy. At Teva and in her previous role at the generic drug industry trade association, she was a key advocate for policies that promote access to medicine – from the Medicare prescription drug benefit to the creation of a biosimilar approval pathway. Barrett previously held roles at The Washington Group, a bipartisan advocacy firm focused on health care issues, and spent six years on Capitol Hill working for now Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), former Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Senator Patrick Leahy. She has also worked at the Kaiser Family Foundation Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, and was an assignment editor and producer at CNN’s Washington bureau. Barrett holds a Master in Public Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.