August 25, 2016
Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) President and CEO Mark Merritt issued the following statement on Mylan’s EpiPen price hikes and attacks in the press on payers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs):
“It was a mistake for Mylan to adopt the failed PR strategy used unsuccessfully by Valeant and Turing. It’s not credible to assert that Mylan’s price hikes are the fault of those paying the bills: namely the employers, unions, and government programs that work hard to provide affordable prescription drug coverage.
Mylan is simply the latest drugmaker trying to re-frame a pricing problem into a coverage problem. Blaming payers for these massive prices hikes is a red herring and doesn’t pass the laugh test with policymakers.
Doubling down on ‘bait and switch’ copay offset tactics only further sticks consumers and payers with the tab. There’s a reason that copay coupons—for hospitals, doctors and prescription drugs—are banned in public programs like Medicare as illegal ‘kickbacks.’
Accusations that EpiPen copay levels have increased in retaliation to these latest price hikes are flatly untrue.”
PBMs are projected to save employers, unions, government programs, and consumers $654 billion — up to 30 percent — on drug benefit costs over the next decade.
Potential solutions for high drug prices that policymakers could consider include:
- Accelerating FDA approvals of drugs that face no competition;
- Making copay coupons an illegal kickback for all insurance that receives any federal subsidy; and
- Incentivizing greater use of biosimilars.