ASHP Assumes Leadership Role in Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing

By Paul Abramowitz posted 02-17-2016 14:55

  
I am pleased to report that ASHP has joined the Steering Committee of the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing (CSRxP). The campaign’s goal is to foster a national dialogue on escalating drug prices and to find market-based solutions to address them. A project of the National Coalition on Health Care, the campaign includes the American Hospital Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, America’s Health Insurance Plans, Kaiser Permanente, AARP, and many other prominent organizations concerned about the impact on patients of rapidly escalating drug prices.

The spectrum of drugs experiencing large price increases is wide, and ranges from long available generics used to treat common chronic conditions to cancer and critical care medications. New specialty drugs with the potential to cure or mitigate once untreatable diseases are also often priced out of the reach of many patients.

The problems associated with escalating drug prices are highly complex and lack easy solutions, which is exactly why ASHP has taken on this issue as a top priority on behalf of our members and their patients. We believe that CSRxP has the best chance of sparking a national debate about the issue, with the capacity to bring together key stakeholders to identify market-based solutions that preserve the free enterprise system while ensuring that patients have access to affordable pharmaceuticals.

ASHP has a long history of leading efforts on drug shortages and various other clinical pharmacy, supply chain, access, and public health issues. ASHP led early efforts on the design of formulary and P&T systems, which resulted in the creation of evidence-based methods to improve medication therapy outcomes and patient safety — and to do so in a cost-conscious manner. It is for these reasons that we believe ASHP and its members can effect change in this area through the work of the campaign.

By joining CSRxP, ASHP will be able to provide the perspective of our members who are on the front lines of this problem, and we will work collaboratively with our partners to ensure that medications are accessible to those who need them. Ensuring sustainable drug pricing and access are long-term efforts, and ASHP is in it for the long run. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on this important issue and working with you to maintain the affordability of these lifesaving medications.

Thank you for all that you do on behalf of your patients and for being members of ASHP.

Paul
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02-20-2016 11:48

While this is a very noble cause, I hope the desire of this group to "...find market-based solutions to address escalating drug prices", will not ignore the "...elephant in the room". There are three principle causes for escalating drug prices: Greed, Greed, and more Greed.
Executive compensation is higher than ever before and this has a trickle down impact on lower level salaries. The bottom line is that more money is spent on administrative overhead than pure drug development. This concept is also prevalent in most of the start-up drug companies. Everyone is in it for a fast buck, figuring if they don't get, it someone else will.
Decision making is too often driven by how a company will look during the next quarter, rather than what is the right thing to do to achieve the best solution to a problem. Focusing on the quarter, is a two-bit idea.
Similar to our national transportation architecture, pharmaceutical companies are not investing in their manufacturing infrastructure because this will have a direct impact on quarterly profits. Consequently, existing facilities are outdated and they contribute to many of the supply issues (i.e., drug shortages) in the current marketplace.
Pharmaceutical companies will complain about the "cost of research", but when they price any new product based upon the value "they think" it brings to humanity, they are talking out of both sides of their mouth. If a company serendipitously discovered a cure for cancer that would only cost $1 per dose, how much do you think they would charge? Based on recent pricing examples, I would guess about $95,000.
The time has come to bring morality back to the healthcare compensation and pricing. If you chose a career in the healthcare industry it should be because you are a caring person, not because you're looking to make a fast buck. Do the right thing...!!!