Pharmaceutical Drug Prices Should be Reduced for Taxpayers and Consumers

Hoyos encourages reforms in procurement

(Knoxville, TN) One of the drivers of increasing healthcare expenses is the rising cost of pharmaceutical drugs.  The federal government is one of the largest pharmaceutical purchasers and should change the way it negotiates for drug procurement.  

In 2015, the US government paid roughly 43% of all retail prescription drug costs—29% through Medicare, 10% through Medicaid, and the rest through the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and some smaller federal and state programs. (Hutchins Center of the Brookings Institute, April 26, 2017)

“These prices continue to rise, and the taxpayers are footing the bill.  But, by creating a single procurement process for Medicare, Medicaid, Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs, the U.S. government could save billions of dollars in the coming years,” stated Renee Hoyos.

Currently, Medicare is prohibited from negotiating lower drug prices, and states must negotiate singly or in cooperatives for Medicaid pricing.  Hoyos would work to create a system in which the buying power of all government purchases would be used to negotiate the lowest price for drug procurement.

Added Hoyos, “The pharmaceutical industry is a $450 billion dollar a year business, much of this being paid by the U.S. government.  It is time to lower the costs for taxpayers and consumers.”

Where does Tim Burchett stand on reducing the costs of pharmaceutical drugs?