[Ip-health] statement on HHS rx drug report

Steven Knievel sknievel at citizen.org
Tue Dec 13 12:11:29 PST 2016

Hello --  

Find below our statement on the HHS report on rx drug innovation, spending and patient access, released late yesterday. Probably of most interest to those who participate in this list is the discussion in chapter two of the report on R&D cost estimates, including highlighting some of the shortfalls and reasons to be skeptical to Prof. DiMasi's $2.6 billion estimate.

The full report is available here: http://www.citizen.org/documents/prescription-drug-report-hhs-december-2016.pdf 
HHS Report Suggests That Patient Health Continues to Take a Back Seat to Medical Companies' Pursuit of Maximum Profits
Statement of Steven Knievel, Access to Medicines Advocate      
Dec. 13, 2016

Contact: Angela Bradbery, abradbery at citizen.org, (202) 503-6768
Don Owens, dowens at citizen.org, (202) 588-7767

Note: Late Monday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released its report to Congress, "Prescription Drugs: Innovation, Spending and Patient Access."

Medical companies and manufacturers continue to prioritize raising prices at the expense of a healthier America.

The report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) paints a stark portrait of prescription drug pricing and access in the United States. While expanded insurance coverage under Obamacare has lowered the number of people skipping doses because of cost, companies continue to demand ever-higher prices, and insurance companies are increasingly shifting medicine "costs to patients through higher deductibles, copayments and coinsurance rates." As long as these trends continue, patients' access to affordable medicines will be under ever-greater threat.

HHS is right to recognize that the high prices driving these trends are not a force of nature, nor are they justified by industry spin about research and development costs. Similar to the report on Gilead's pricing of Sovaldi released by U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Charles Grassley one short year ago, HHS concludes, "in reality, the prices charged are unrelated to their development costs. Drug manufacturers set prices to maximize profits."

Public Citizen agrees. Patients get no benefit from a medication they can't afford. Lifesaving medications must be affordable and accessible. Congress should act urgently to rein in pharma's monopolistic pricing abuses.


View this release on our press page.

Steven Knievel
Access to Medicines Advocate
Public Citizen | Protecting Health, Safety and Democracy
TEL: +1 202-588-7769
1600 20th St. NW, Washington, DC 20009
URL: http://www.citizen.org/access  
Twitter: @PCMedsAccess

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