Congress should encourage drug competition to lower drug prices for Americans
Washington, D.C., January 10, 2024 – Today, the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs released a new report from Alex Brill and Matrix Global Advisors (MGA) titled, “Rebates and Drug Price Increases: An Analysis.” The report finds that prescription drugs with the largest list price increases do not have rebates. The analysis adds to a growing body of work refuting drug companies’ claims that rebates drive up drug prices.
Key findings of the report include:
- 9 of the 10 prescription drugs that have had the highest price increases since 2018 do not have rebates.
- Among the top 29 drugs studied, those with no rebates saw price increases as high as 413% – with an average price hike of 93%.
- Among the top drugs with rebates, price increases were much lower – 44% on average.
- To combat high and rising prescription drug prices, Congress should focus on policies that promote drug competition.
“This research affirms what we’ve seen in the data before – rebates that PBMs negotiate from drug companies are not responsible for the rise in pharmaceutical list prices,” said Alex Brill, MGA’s founder and CEO. “In fact, PBMs constrain drug spending and government analyses have shown that eliminating rebates would raise health insurance premiums.”
“As we begin the 2024 legislative session in D.C. and in statehouses around the country, we hope this report provides helpful clarity to lawmakers looking to find ways to bring down the cost of prescription drugs for their constituents,” said CAPD Spokesperson Maura Keefe. “We urge policymakers to heed this research and look at policies that address the root of the problem: drug companies’ monopolistic pricing power.”
This report builds on past research from MGA, which found no relationship between rebates and drug prices. Taken together, both reports show that there is no evidence to support efforts by big drug companies to misdirect blame for the high prices they set for their drugs.
Read the new report here.
# # #
The Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD) represents a diverse group of public and private employers, retirees, unions, and the pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) they partner with to provide affordable, sustainable prescription drug coverage to their employees and members.
Matrix Global Advisors (MGA) is an economic consulting firm in Washington, DC, specializing in healthcare, tax, and fiscal policy. Drawing on years of policy experience, the MGA team uses analytics to help identify, quantify, and solve economic policy problems. Through the use of analytical tools and knowledge of the political and legislative process, MGA helps clients navigate legislative and regulatory proposals, craft policy reforms, and measure their own businesses’ economic footprints.