PCMA testifies before House subcommittee, offers policy options to curb Rx abuse, reduce costs | PCMA news release: PCMA offers policy recommendations to stem Rx abuse, reduce costs | Release of draft guidance for biosimilar interchangeability moved by FDA
Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, Pharmaceutical Care Management Association President and CEO Mark Merritt offered several potential policy recommendations that would help reduce drug costs, including encouraging value-based pricing arrangements, clearing the backlog of generic-drug approval applications and accelerating approval of drugs that would break monopolies.
Draft guidance for the definition of biosimilar interchangeability will be published sometime before 2017 ends, according to a commitment letter released by the FDA for the Biosimilar Biological Product User Fee Act, although the agency has previously said the guidance would be issued by the end of this year. The final guidance is expected to be released around 2019.
Average monthly premiums for Medicare Advantage plans next year will be 3.6% lower than 2016 rates, Part D premiums will remain stable, and 67% of enrollees' premiums will not go up, according to the CMS.
Competition in the pharmaceuticals industry could significantly reduce spending, including a $39.7 billion savings from biosimilar drugs over five years, according to Express Scripts Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steve Miller. "Drugmaker consolidation, price hikes ahead of impending patent expirations and hyperinflation on older medications without therapy class competition all contributed to increased drug spending," Miller said.
More than a dozen drugmakers and biotechnology firms are working on treatments for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a liver disease that affects millions of people and for which there is no approved treatment.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals recently raised prices on three eye drugs by 9.9% in what "may be an attempt to stay under the radar of managed care plans and states looking out for double-digit price increases," Wells Fargo analyst David Maris wrote in an investor letter.
PCMA is the national association representing America's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which administer prescription drug plans for more than 266 million Americans with health coverage provided through Fortune 500 employers, health insurance plans, labor unions, and Medicare Part D. PCMA is dedicated to enhancing the proven tools and techniques pioneered by PBMs that generate savings and access for consumers and payors.
Contact PCMA Charles Cote
Vice President, Strategic Communications