September 1, 2021 – President Biden recently released his Principles for Lowering Drug Prices, a set of key prescription drug policy priorities. The President’s principles included:
- The ability for the Medicare program to negotiate acquisition costs for drug prices with manufacturers
- Place an annual cap on Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket liability
- Prices for prescription drugs should not increase beyond the rate of inflation
- Drug pricing reforms should extend to all Americans, not just those enrolled in Medicare
- A new initiative, ARPA-H, should be created to guide the development of therapeutics for conditions ill-suited to the traditional drug development process.
The Alliance, and the Alliance-led coalition Project LOOP (Lowering Out of Pocket), supports prescription drug pricing reforms that will lower the cost of prescription drugs for beneficiaries while ensuring the continued development of therapeutics to address challenging diseases impacting older adults. As the White House works with Congress to convey key priorities, the Alliance asked the Administration to:
- Create a meaningful annual limit, or cap, on Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket expenditures for prescription drugs
- Ensure that Medicare beneficiaries can pay their prescription drug costs in no-interest installments (i.e. a “cost smoothing” mechanism)
- Evaluate an annual limit on price growth for individual prescription drugs
- Restructure the Part D benefit to ensure financial risk is distributed in its intended manner
- Expand Medicare coverage to include dental, hearing, and vision services
- Reject consideration of the quality-adjusted life year (QALY) or QALY-derivative metrics in considerations of drug pricing negotiation. The Alliance opposes the methodology due to its demonstrated discriminatory impact on older adults, and individuals with disabilities and chronic diseases.
- Utilize trade agreements to ensure that the cost of research and development is shared more equitably between U.S. and international consumers.
About the Alliance for Aging Research
The Alliance for Aging Research is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the pace of scientific discoveries and their application to vastly improve the universal human experience of aging and health. The Alliance believes advances in research help people live longer, happier, more productive lives and reduce healthcare costs over the long term. For more than 30 years, the Alliance has guided efforts to substantially increase funding and focus for aging at the National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration; built influential coalitions to guide groundbreaking regulatory improvements for age-related diseases; and created award-winning, high-impact educational materials to improve the health and well-being of older adults and their family caregivers. For more information, visit www.agingresearch.org