Prescription drug prices are constantly increasing. Not only are senior citizens on fixed incomes struggling, so too is the middle class. Several consumer advocacy groups have offered various solutions.
Here are a few that might just work.
Prescription Drug Prices: Lower Costs Possible
One way to lower drug prices is by increasing competition. This is done by allowing more generic drugs to enter the market and give consumers a choice.
There are several pending bills in Congress that would give the FDA power to increase the availability of generics. Prices will automatically fall. Currently, Big Pharma has a monopoly and tightly controls the ability of generic manufacturers to enter the market.
Another solution is to cap the out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare Part D enrollees. Currently, even after reaching catastrophic levels of spending, these patients still have to keep paying for high-priced prescription drugs.
A third proposal before Congress is to implement value-based pricing. Is the new drug on the market really that good to cost so much? In fact, we have no information to know if they’re any better than current drugs. However, there are difficulties in measuring a drug’s fair price. How do you define it? Value can be defined in different ways.
Consumer Education Is The Key
Consumer education is the key to any success in lowering the price of prescription drugs.
For example, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is calling for increased price transparency so consumers can make more informed decisions.
Therefore, Medicare and Medicaid have updated their pricing dashboards. In addition, Congress passed an anti-gag clause that tells all consumers about drugs that are more affordable.
Moreover, drug makers should include list prices in their direct-to-consumer advertising. This will give consumers a basis for valid comparison to other drugs on the market.