Q: Do you see the issue of drug pricing coming to a head? What do you expect to happen?
“It’s really important for us to get to the same fact basis. We have a situation where despite the fact drug spending is going up, it’s actually coming off this spike in 2014 and 2015, which was somewhat anomalous.
“The hepatitis C medicines came to the market, which we can argue about the cost at launch, but through market competition and several other companies now in that space prices have come down by around 60%. Even Express Scripts and CVS would argue that it’s cheaper to acquire Sovaldi in the U.S. than it is in Western Europe, and it will dramatically reduce incidence of liver cancer hospitalizations.
“In 2014-15, you also had fewer drugs come off of patent than was historically the case and you also had a record number of Food and Drug Administration approvals of medicines. So what’s happening is (drug spending is) coming back down and CMS’ own actuaries predict that will be in line with overall healthcare spending in the next several years.”