By Blair Childs, Premier senior vice president of Public Affairs
Members of the Premier alliance commend Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) for exploring the issues associated with the drug delivery system and associated costs for consumers. We are ardent supporters of common sense solutions that will enable greater market competition and help curb runaway drug price increases that are crippling federal, state and household budgets. When markets are healthy, with an ample number of competitors, Premier has been able to leverage competitive friction to limit drug price increases to 4.5 percent, less than the overall rate of inflation and far less than last year’s 17 percent price increase in the Medicare program. There remain, however, far too many loopholes that can impede competition, delay generic drug makers from entering the market and unnecessarily extend the life of branded patents. We strongly urge the Committee to look further into this issue and to support Premier’s nine public policy recommendations for a more competitive marketplace, which we believe are crucial to curbing prices consumers pay for prescription drugs.
-By Blair Childs, Premier senior vice president of Public Affairs