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3 Ways to Address High Drug Costs in 2021


The COVID-19 pandemic has put enormous strain on an already-struggling health care system. Prescription drug prices have skyrocketed in recent years which is why Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) work hard to expand access to life-saving drugs. However, there are still a number of solutions at the federal level that could help address high drug costs in 2021.

First, federal policy should encourage the approval of generic medication alternatives, sometimes called “biosimilars.” These generic medications are as safe yet significantly cheaper than their name-brand alternatives. Generic medicines bring down costs by encouraging competition and dramatically expanding access to treatment for families struggling with high health care costs. By removing unnecessary barriers to these medications, patients will have additional choices, and thus more affordable options.

Second, it’s time to encourage competition by eliminating “pay-for-delay” agreements. These settlements allow brand name drugs and patent holders to pay competitors to delay producing a generic drug. This gives the brand name drugs, and their patent holders, a monopoly on the market leading to higher prices for patients.

Third, policy should reduce market exclusivity to seven years, as opposed to 12 years under current law. This would greatly expand access and drive down prices for life-saving drugs.

PBMs are working with lawmakers, policy experts, and other partners in the medical supply chain to bring down prescription drug costs for patients. One of the many ways PBMs are always #OnYourRxSide. Read more.

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Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are your advocates in the health care system, working to lower out-of-control prescription drug costs for patients across the country.

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