April 12, 2018 – Negotiation
Anchor lead: Is allowing the federal government to negotiate drug prices part of the solution to controlling them? Elizabeth Tracey reports
People who need medicines daily, such as those infected with HIV, may simply choose to stop taking their drugs in the wake of high and increasing drug prices. Joseph Cofrancesco, an internal medicine expert and HIV specialist at Johns Hopkins, says this situation has reached the crisis point for many patients.
Cofrancesco: Part of it is we leave in a system that is capitalist. The part D law prohibited negotiations. If we had a formulary like the VA, then people say oh, then you eliminate drugs from the formulary, yes, but you can do so in a rational way, and you can say this is the other drugs, and you would presumably do that based on guidelines. And then you’d go to the manufacturer and say we have these three HIV drugs, the guidelines say these are the three to use, let us know what your costs are, and they’d have to negotiate. :27
Cofrancesco notes that so far this year, changes in insurance company formularies have been especially troublesome for many of his patients, who don’t learn that their medicine are no longer covered until they attempt to fill needed prescriptions. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.