Leave the anti-bounce law in place – InsuranceNewsNet

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WASHINGTON, April 5 (TNSPol) — US health insurance plans issued the following press release:

Out of control drug prices are a major driver of health care costs and a growing burden on hard-working American families. Today, Big Pharma is scrambling to find new ways to line its own pockets – seeking to overturn long-standing protections provided by anti-kickback law, which will lead to even higher increases in premiums and payouts.

In the case of Pfizer v. The Ministry of Health and Social Services (HHS), which focuses on the issue of co-pay assistance programs, AHIP filed an amicus brief (https://www.ahip.org/resources/amicus-brief-pfizer-v-hhs) supporting HHS’s interpretation of anti-kickback law, an important protection for patients, consumers, and taxpayers. Here are the highlights.

Big Pharma ‘solves’ a problem they themselves created

“Drug manufacturers alone set and control the introductory price and every price increase of the prescription drugs they sell, and thus make significant profits. Manufacturers should not be able to take advantage of the problems of access they themselves create to nullify vital protection for government programs and the beneficiaries who use them.Indeed, anti-bribery law was designed precisely to address this and similar practices. . »

If the anti-bribery law is weakened, Americans will pay the price

“[The Anti-Kickback Statute] provides vital safeguards against the risk of fraud, waste and abuse inherent in allowing manufacturers to subsidize patients’ upfront costs to incentivize purchases of their products. These protections are essential because these same patients – and WE taxpayers – would otherwise pay the uncontrolled multi-billion dollar price tag and the resulting higher health insurance premiums. »

“Coupons work, first and foremost, for the drug maker. They increase the sales volume of the coupon drug, increase revenue, and give drug makers the freedom to keep raising their prices. Any short-term benefit to the patients are overwhelmed by increasing total drug costs over time. And patients end up paying the price in the form of higher premiums or cost sharing.”

There are many ways big pharma can legally make drugs more affordable.

“A better legal way to support patient access to essential medicines is for drugmakers to donate to independent charities – potentially including those targeted for specific diseases. … Conversely, like the shows experience in the commercial market, allowing manufacturers to directly subsidize patients’ cost-sharing of their own drugs leads to higher profits for drugmakers and higher premiums for everyone, including patients who are ostensibly being helped.”

“While this pressing affordability issue persists, solutions for providing patients with access to needed medicines abound – including many that drugmakers could support under current law, if they so wished. , drugmakers could support cost-sharing aid provided by charities that are free Drugmakers could also reduce their prices – which far exceed what they spend on research and development. refrain from anti-competitive practices that extend brand-name drug monopolies far beyond the time limits provided by Congress – a solution that would advance innovation and patient well-being. One thing is clear. Any lasting solution is not to open the door to drugmakers who pay patients directly if – and only if – patients buy the drugs from the manufacturer.

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