Ensuring Patient Access to Affordable Drug Therapies

Type: Consensus Study
Topics: Diseases, Health Services, Coverage, and Access, Public Health
Board: Board on Health Care Services

Activity Description

An ad hoc committee under the auspices of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will examine patient access to affordable and effective therapies, with emphasis on drug pricing, inflation in the cost of drugs, and insurance design. The committee will examine:

• Structural factors influencing drug pricing; e.g., patents (regulated monopolies), the role of health insurance, and information asymmetries between patients and providers.
• Policy factors, such as drug reimbursement and cost-sharing policies (such as co-pays and coinsurance), Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement policies, and state laws prohibiting restrictions on drug prescribing.
• Drug access programs, such as the 340B program and copay assistance programs.
• The emerging role of comparative effectiveness assessments in payment policies.
• Changing finances of medical practice with regard to drug costs and reimbursement.
• Measures to prevent drug shortages and foster continued innovation in drug development.

The committee will issue a report with findings and recommendations for policy actions that could address drug price trends, improve patient access to affordable and effective treatments, and encourage innovations that address significant needs in health care.

As of March 2016, the Health and Medicine Division continues the consensus studies and convening activities previously undertaken by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

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