The issue of out-of-control prescription drug prices is one of the nation’s most pressing problems and a major source of financial worry for Americans. In fact, patients today are faced with higher prescription drug costs than ever before and, due to the growth of high deductible health plans, many of them are now paying for a larger share of their prescription drug costs out of their own pockets at the pharmacy counter.
It is important to remember that pharmaceutical manufacturers, and no one else, set and raise the price of prescription drugs. In fact, a recent investigation by the Associated Press, found that in the first half of 2018, manufacturers were raising the price of brand name drugs more often than they were making drug cost reductions. For example, the analysis showed that “there were 96 price hikes for every price cut.”
At CVS Health, we are an advocate that negotiates with those manufacturers to achieve drug price savings for payors and patients. We’re not middlemen, but instead we’re fighting to lower the costs patients pay for the medicine they need. When we succeed, patients benefit.
Recently, HHS Secretary Alex Azar made some positive comments about the role of PBMs to Bloomberg, saying that “pharmacy benefit managers do an incredible job negotiating discounts, rebates in our system.” He went on to note that, particularly when it comes to Medicare drug programs, the Administration was looking at “further empowering pharmacy benefit managers” as a “major part of the President’s plan.”
At CVS Health, we are committed to finding the right drug at the lowest possible cost for our patients to ensure they are able to access and stay on the medications they need.