Biden administration proposes access to taxpayer-funded drugs

The Biden administration announced new actions Thursday aimed at lowering prescription drug costs and promoting competition in the industry to ensure every American has access to high-quality, affordable health care, according to the White House.

New research released by HHS links a lack of competition in the drug market to rising prices, with the 25 largest pharmaceutical companies controlling about 70% of the industry’s revenue. As a result, nearly three in 10 people struggle to pay for the medicines they need.

As part of the Biden administration’s efforts to make health care more accessible, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Commerce (DOC) have released a proposed framework for agencies to exercise step-in authority, which explicitly states that price can be the decision A factor in whether medical care is provided. Whether a drug or other taxpayer-funded invention is available to the public. The Biden administration explains that because taxpayers have spent hundreds of billions of dollars on research over the years to help develop new prescription drugs, these taxpayer-funded drugs and inventions should be affordable to the public. Therefore, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services invite the public to provide input on how the framework can promote access and innovation.

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In addition to high drug prices, the recent acceleration in health care market consolidation has led to rising costs, reduced access to care and lower quality of care, particularly in rural areas, the statement noted. In addition, consolidation has led to a rapid decline in the number of independent physician practices, driven by a surge in private equity ownership in industries such as nursing homes, physician practices, and hospices.

In an effort to promote competition in the industry, the Biden administration announced new measures to halt anticompetitive mergers and practices by dominant players in the health care market. This includes launching a cross-government public investigation into corporate greed in healthcare, with the Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and HHS issuing joint information requests seeking input on how private equity and other companies are exploiting the information. Increasing corporate power and control over health care is impacting Americans and setting future regulatory and enforcement priorities.

The Department of Health, the Federal Trade Commission, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will also work together to identify anticompetitive conduct through data sharing to help antitrust enforcement agencies identify potential anticompetitive transactions that may evade scrutiny.

To further promote competition, the Biden administration will also implement new initiatives to increase ownership transparency. As part of that, CMS is releasing ownership data for federally qualified health centers and rural health clinics for the first time.

Making ownership information transparent could identify common owners with a history of poor performance, analyze trends in how market consolidation affects consumers, and assess the relationship between ownership and changes in health care costs and outcomes, the White House wrote.

Likewise, the government also aims to increase the transparency of Medicare benefits. The announcement underscores the commitment to ensuring that Medicare Advantage insurance plans meet patient needs, provide timely care and foster healthy and competitive markets. To support this, CMS announced it will begin soliciting information from the public early next year to strengthen CMS data capabilities and Medicare Advantage transparency efforts; this will help it understand the impact of market changes on consumers and care outcomes.

These actions build on previous actions taken by the administration, including increasing transparency around hospital costs and capping insulin costs for seniors at $35 per product per month.

President Biden believes health care should be a right, not a privilege, the White House writes. Corporate special interests and trickle-down economics have long allowed Big Pharma to earn record profits while millions of Americans struggle to afford health care and prescription drugs to treat common and chronic diseases.

refer to

The Biden-Harris administration announced new actions to lower health care and prescription drug costs by promoting competition. Press Releases. White House. December 7, 2023. Viewed December 11, 2023. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/12/07/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-announces -new-actions -Decrease health care and prescription drugs by promoting competition cost/

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