CreakyJoints advocates for transparent drug pricing by insurance companies.
CreakyJoints, part of the Global Healthy Living Foundation, announced a new policy platform Monday that advocates for transparent drug pricing by encouraging stakeholders, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), to better communicate about pricing practices and take steps to pass along discounts and price reductions to chronic disease patient populations.
CreakyJoints believes that there is a need to shift business practices to patient-centered healthcare without sacrificing innovation. Specifically, the organization advocates that:
- The FDA more quickly approve generic medications to increase treatment options as well as competition, which will naturally cause price adjustments in the marketplace. Currently, over 4,000 generic medication applications await review.1
- The FDA allow more prescription medicines to be available over the counter. Simultaneously, insurance companies should continue to provide coverage for these drugs, and patients should be able to use their health saving accounts for OTC purchases.
- Patients should be notified by their pharmacy if a drug would cost less if purchased without their insurance. Similarly, insurance companies should disclose cost savings if a drug can be obtained more cheaply by mail or from an alternative pharmacy.
- Following a price re-negotiation between a pharmaceutical company, PBM, and health insurance company that results in a lower price, insurance companies should pass along cost savings to patients in the form of lower deductibles, co-pays, rebates, or discounts.
“Patient communities rarely have a complete understanding of how much their medication costs because they are not at the negotiation table with the enormously profitable companies who set prices,” said Louis Tharp, Executive Director and Co-Founder of CreakyJoints and the Global Healthy Living Foundation. “Our goal is to raise the veil on how drug prices are set because insurance companies play a larger role than the average person realizes. Further, we plan to advocate for health policies and laws that put people ahead of profits while strongly encouraging continued research and innovation because increased treatment options will benefit the patient community while stimulating the economy.”
CreakyJoints has created a webpage, www.creakyjoints.org/4ways, which further explains the initiative and seeks public support for more transparent drug pricing practices.
CreakyJoints, now in its 18th year, is a source for more than 100,000 arthritis patients and their families worldwide who are seeking education, support, advocacy and patient-centered research. It was co-founded in 1999 by arthritis patient Seth Ginsberg and social entrepreneur Louis Tharp.
1 The Generic Drug Dashboard. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. July 2016. Accessed on April 3, 2017 https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/HowDrugsareDevelopedandApproved/ApprovalApplications/Abb
(Source: Business Wire)