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If the U.S. wants to effectively combat high drug costs and make medicines affordable, the federal government needs to take several aggressive, if controversial steps, according to a sweeping and ambitious report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

The recommendations include a bevy of familiar notions:


  • allow the federal government to negotiate prices
  • eliminate consumer advertising of medicines
  • police anticompetitive practices
  • reduce patent abuses
  • require disclosure of prices, discounts and rebates for all drugs
  • prohibit patient coupons
  • place limits on Medicare Part D out-of-pocket costs
  • revise the Orphan Drug Act, among other things.

A failure to take such steps would limit investments in other national priorities, a National Academies committee warned in its report, which was released on Thursday.

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  • No matter how long and how many days the drug pricing is discussed there are two conflicting facts that prevent lower drug prices. One is profits and the other is pharma companies capitalizing on human desire/weakness to extend life at all costs. Another fact no one wants to discuss is lobbying effort where politicians are bought and sold to assure drug prices stay high.

    Pharma uses inefficient processes to produce drugs and their is no effort to improve processes as the regulators interfere. They have a task to assure quality is maintained but companies at times cut corners. Companies won’t agree with what I am saying but in the name of profits shortcuts are way of life in manufacturing.

    Only way prices can be lowered is price control.

  • Won’t denying tax deductions for direct-to-consumer drug advertising actually cause drug manufacturers to pass on more marketing costs to consumers in the form of higher drug prices? I wish there was more talk about banning direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising entirely, the costs of which already contribute to higher drug prices. The United States and New Zealand are the only industrialized nations in which such advertising is not banned.

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