National Health Law Program Comments on HHS Plan to Lower Drug Prices

Executive Summary

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a Request for Information seeking comments on its Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs. National Health Law Program’s response, filed July 16 focuses on three key areas that the HHS Blueprint addresses only in part, or overlooks completely: pricing and access to outpatient prescription drugs in Medicaid; proposals to reduce consumer cost sharing in the private insurance market; and strategies to reduce drug prices. National Health Law Program urges HHS to reject cost-saving measures that would cut Medicaid enrollee access to outpatient prescription drugs. National Health Law Program also outlines steps HHS can take to lower consumer out-of-pocket expenses, such as barring the use of co-insurance whereby insurers require consumers to pay a percentage of the costs for prescription drugs, which unduly burdens those with serious or chronic medical conditions. And National Health Law Program’s comments describe a number of measures to curb pharmaceutical company profiteering on the backs of health care consumers and tax payers. These include using federal “march in” rights to make sole-source drugs more available, like Truvada, used as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV infection.

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