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WASHINGTON — The drug industry is going all-in on its push to shift the conversation about drug prices to one about value, and its top lobbyist said the industry would be opportunistic in the coming months in finding legislative and administrative avenues to advance policies in pursuit of that goal.

The industry, represented here by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, has some specific changes in mind that it says would free them to enter into more value-based contracts with health insurers. The group’s argument: Biopharmaceutical companies develop breakthrough medications that save lives, and they can be the answer to the problem of health care costs, rather than the cause.


These companies want to be able to communicate more with health plans and patients before a drug is approved by the Food and Drug Administration. They say federal anti-kickback statutes, intended to stop illicit activity, have the unintended effect of stymieing these arrangements. They also argue that existing rules for Medicaid drug rebates, intended to ensure the program pays the best price on the market, complicate these contracts as well.

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  • I am in biotech drug discovery professional and the concept of value-based pricing sounds good, and we it is a necessary new guideline, and there are healthcare cost containment reasons for it, but it seems that from the drug pricing or overall costs of therapy points of views there will still need to be floors and cap on drug pricing. For a life-saving drug, does this mean a price of $1M/year? The EMA does this type of rational price control. And conversely the prices can not be too low or manufacturers will not keep producing and selling the drug. And what happens for symptomatic treatment drugs for very large populations such as Alzheimer’s? So a good article would be on, what are we talking about when we use this term? Thanks.

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