Increasing drug costs have prevented patients from receiving the care that they need to have a healthy life and have prevented physicians from providing the most effective treatment for critically ill patients. Dr. Wayne J. Riley, president of the American College of Physicians, and colleagues announced a plan to reduce the costs of prescription drugs in the March 29, 2016, edition of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. The hopeful program deals with what governments can do to reduce drug costs.
The plan supports transparency in pricing across all sources for drugs. The reimporting of drugs made in the United States but sold in other countries is promoted as a price lowering option. The study urges price negotiation by Medicare and other publicly funded health programs. The elimination of methods to extend exclusive rights to the manufacture of a drug is suggested. Insurance companies are urged to reimburse based on the effectiveness of drugs as well as the price and cost that is incurred by the patient.
The announcement suggests that the majority of physicians in the United States agree with patients that drug prices are out of control. The study does not address one of the fatal flaws of the Affordable Care Act. A health insurance company that meets quality criteria, community education standards, and other goals each year is allowed to raise rates and deductibles every year. This guaranteed rate increase is why so many insurance companies supported Obamacare with campaign contributions to President Obama and politicians that were likely to vote for the plan.
Democrats would not be willing to allow a change in the ACA because Republicans would endeavor to change the heath care scheme entirely. Health insurance companies would spend millions to prevent changing the ACA as would pharmaceutical companies. No change in drug pricing will be seen in 2016.