Toward a National Policy on Drug Pricing and Drug Shortages

Saturday, February 18, 2017: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room 210 (Hynes Convention Center)
Jeanette Roberts, University of Wisconsin, Madison, TBD, DC
The prices of many drugs (prescription and generic) in the United States have been rising sometimes dramatically over the past several years. Examples include daraprim, which experienced a greater than 5400% over night increase, and EpiPens, which have quadrupled in price since 2010. In addition, new drugs to treat hepatitis C and cancer have been introduced with very high price tags. High prices for medications can be hard for patients to afford and also bring higher costs to health plans, hospitals and government plans like Medicare. Four major strategies have emerged for federal and state policy makers to address escalating drug costs: (1) allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices; (2) ensure a viable, competitive drug marketplace; (3) allow (re)importation of drugs from other countries; and (4) monitor/limit increases for drug products. Current legislative initiatives will be outlined.