PCMA on New GAO Report: Shows Urgent Need for Biogenerics Legislation
June 2, 2009
(Washington, DC)-The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) released the following statement today on a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) and enrollee cost sharing for selected specialty prescription drugs:
“The high prices of biotech drugs in the new GAO report underscore the importance of creating much-needed competition to lower costs and increase access for these life-saving products.
“Despite these high prices, payers have worked hard to provide affordable benefits. In the FEHBP program, the GAO report finds that nearly 9 out of 10 federal employees are in plans that limit out-of-pocket costs to about $55 per prescription, even for biotech medicines where annual treatment costs can exceed $25,000.
“Many of the high-cost biotech medicines examined by GAO do not face generic competition, straining public and private payers’ ability to provide affordable drug benefits for these necessary and often life-changing products. Generic competition lowers costs because it gives patients the power to choose and gives manufacturers an incentive to reduce prices.
“Meaningful biogenerics legislation should be the first stop for policymakers tasked with financing health reform. PCMA and a broad coalition of consumers, employers, labor unions, and others support bipartisan legislation which would create a regulatory pathway for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve generic versions of biologic products.”