‘Most fa­vored na­tion’ pric­ing may solve drug-cost is­sue

Modern Healthcare - - COMMENT -

Re­gard­ing Mod­ern Health­care’s Year in Re­view cov­er­age (“High drug prices emerge as 2015’s top is­sue,” p. 17), rapidly ris­ing drug prices is one of the most press­ing is­sues fac­ing con­sumers, physi­cians and hos­pi­tals. Many are call­ing on gov­ern­ment to ne­go­ti­ate pric­ing for drugs. Drug com­pa­nies ar­gue that they need to re­cover the cost of re­search, etc., which is rea­son­able. What is not rea­son­able is for that bur­den to fall only on con­sumers in the U.S.

I sug­gest that the gov­ern­ment man­date that prices in the U.S. be given “most fa­vored na­tion” sta­tus when com­pared with West Europe, Canada and Ja­pan. In other words, we would pay no more than the low­est price among those coun­tries. The de­vel­oped coun­tries should share in R&D. It would be far less com­plex than ne­go­ti­at­ing prices for in­di­vid­ual drugs. The drug com­pa­nies should have to ver­ify this un­der penalty of law.

Charles O’Brien

CEO

Weir­ton (W.Va.) Med­i­cal Cen­ter

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