Poverty and InequalitySexual and Reproductive HealthFamily, Maternal & Child HealthMethodology

Reducing branded prescription drug prices: A review of policy options

TitleReducing branded prescription drug prices: A review of policy options
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsAlexander, GC, Ballreich, J, Socal, MP, Karmarkar, T, Trujillo, A, Greene, J, Sharfstein, J, Anderson, G
Date PublishedAug 14
ISBN Number0277-0008
Accession Number28805961
KeywordsDrug Costs, drug pricing, out-of-pocket costs, pharmaceutical policy, prescription drugs

The high prices of specialty pharmaceuticals are causing some public programs to ration care and many private insurers, including Medicare drug plans, to place specialty drugs on high cost sharing tiers. As a result, access to these drugs is severely restricted, and only a small portion of the population with the disease is receiving treatment. This concern has generated a wide range of proposed solutions. We conducted a literature review and identified fifty-two solutions in the peer reviewed literature that we classified into five broad categories: revising the patent system; encouraging research to increase development of new drugs; altering pharmaceutical regulation; decreasing market demand; and developing innovative pricing strategies. We discuss the rationale for these five approaches and summarize the proposed solutions. We also discuss four empirical issues that are particularly important in any discussion of policy options. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.