For Immediate Release
Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) today submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in response to its request for information related to the HHS Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs.
ERIC’s comments focused on four areas:
- Improving competition
- Better negotiation to reduce costs
- Creating incentives to lower drug prices
- Reducing patient out-of-pocket spending
“Large employers typically pay at least 75 percent of health care costs for their employees. While prescription drugs are not the largest cost-driver within employer-sponsored health insurance, they are the fastest growing, least predictable, and often times, the most opaque,” said James Gelfand, senior vice president of health policy, ERIC. “It is extremely important regulations are updated to increase competition and improve access to lower cost drug options.”
Fixes suggested by ERIC, included:
- Ensuring safety protocols are properly enforced and cannot be used to generate market exclusivity
- Taking immediate steps to except value-based payments from the Medicaid price calculation and removing other barriers related to Stark and anti-kickback rules which might hamper the advance of value-based payments in health care
- Banning pay-for-delay agreements and curtailing those currently in effect
- Implementing changes to create a thriving biosimilar market, and educating patients and providers about it
- Placing limitations on copay coupons that steer patients to higher-cost drugs
- Broadening the IRS’ overly-restrictive definition of preventive care
- Banning gag clauses that hide drug costs from consumers
ERIC will continue to serve as a resource to the Administration throughout the regulatory process, and looks forward to working with the Departments on regulations that recognize the important role of large plan sponsors and the benefits they provide to millions of workers, retirees and families.
To read ERIC’s comments in their entirety, click here.