Drug Pricing & The Election – The Need For Transparency

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CEO Cary Breese’s comments from NowRx, a tech-enabled pharmacy providing same-day and same-hour delivery of prescription medications, regarding the high stakes in this election around drug pricing as sky-high prescription drug costs remains one of the most hotly contested issues in healthcare today.

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High Stakes In This Election Around Drug Pricing

Amid a global pandemic, there may be few issues that ignite Americans more than their concerns about healthcare -- and in particlar the cost of prescription medications.

According to a recent survey from Gallup and the nonprofit West Health, a clear majority — 75% — of respondents said the cost of prescription medicines would be among the factors likely to influence their votes this year. Both candidates have expressed the need to address the issue. On September 13th, Trump issued an executive order that directed federal agencies to take action on his plans, which did not change any policies and will be difficult to implement, according to experts.

NowRx CEO Cary Breese, sees an opportunity to change the way the industry handles price transparency which is central to the issue of cost. He believes the current political climate could be conducive in forcing change around the way pharma addresses pricing.

No Price Transparency In The Industry

Breese (an insurance and pharmacy industry expert) says: "Currently, there is no price transparency in the industry, and while companies like GoodRx and other discount cards have emerged because of how convoluted drug pricing is, it remains an area with enormous potential for change and for new momentum to occur. Healthcare is one of the only industries where the consumer has no idea how much something is going to cost them when they order it. It's simply better for all parties – physicians and consumers – to understand in advance how much a prescribed drug is going to cost."

Breese believes the following healthcare industry issues are at stake with this year's election and need to be addressed, including:

  • better education around Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs) and how their role as the middlemen, along with the insurance companies, set the prices of drugs, further exacerbating the lack of drug pricing transparency.
  • increased regulations that facilitate telehealth;
  • new regulatory proposals around licensed pharmacists issuing prescriptions without a doctor.