Yesterday, U.S. Representative Gus Bilirakis of Florida published an op-ed outlining how to “Lower Drug Costs Through Competition and Innovation.” Bilirakis writes that “leveraging the power of the free market and incentivizing competition among drug makers will drive costs down – not government mandates.” He cites the success of the Medicare Part D program – holding a 90 percent satisfaction rate among seniors and coming in significantly under budget from original CBO estimates – to show that private sector competition helps patients afford needed medicines.
In the Part D program, plans compete for consumers’ business and aggressively negotiate discounts and rebates from drug manufacturers. A recent study of 12 widely used therapeutic classes in Part D found that plans received average discounts of over 35 percent.Bilirakis closes by noting:
Bilirakis closes by noting:
We can modernize the FDA and clear the backlog of generic drugs waiting for approval. We can reduce unnecessary regulations that hinder innovation and competition. We can remove legal and regulatory barriers so insurers and drug innovators can make more arrangements to “pay for performance.” And we can quickly implement the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act, using real-world evidence and innovative clinical trial design to get new medicines to market faster.
In the end, we all want affordable prescription drugs and a health care system that spurs innovation. I believe the best approach to accomplish this goal is harnessing the power of the free market to bring costs down and get treatments to patients faster.
Read the full op-ed here.