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Pharmacotherapy. 2017 Nov;37(11):1469-1478. doi: 10.1002/phar.2013. Epub 2017 Oct 17.

Reducing Branded Prescription Drug Prices: A Review of Policy Options.

Author information

1
Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.
2
Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.
3
Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
4
Department of Health Policy & Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.
5
Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.
6
Office of the Dean, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.

Abstract

The high prices of specialty pharmaceuticals are causing some public programs to ration care and many private insurers, including Medicare drug plans, to place specialty drugs on high cost-sharing tiers. As a result, access to these drugs is often restricted, and only a small portion of the population with a disease may receive treatment. This concern has generated a wide range of proposed solutions. We conducted a literature review and identified 52 solutions in the peer-reviewed literature that we classified into five broad categories: revising the patent system, encouraging research to increase development of new drugs, altering pharmaceutical regulation, decreasing market demand, and developing innovative pricing strategies. We discuss the rationale for these five approaches and summarize the proposed solutions. We also discuss four empirical issues that are particularly important in any discussion of policy options.

KEYWORDS:

drug costs; drug pricing; out-of-pocket costs; pharmaceutical policy; prescription drugs

PMID:
28805961
DOI:
10.1002/phar.2013
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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