Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Multifocal Effort Encouraged to Rein in U.S. Prescription Prices

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Multifocal Effort Encouraged to Rein in U.S. Prescription Prices

Article excerpt

FROM JAMA

ENFORCING MORE STRINGENT requirements for exclusivity rights, ensuring timely generic drug availability, and providing greater opportunities for meaningful price negotiation by government payers could help combat high medication costs in the United States, according to a recent analysis published in JAMA.

Per capita prescription drug spending in the United States exceeds that in all other countries, largely fueled by brand-name drug prices rising at rates far beyond the consumer price index. For example, in 2013, per capita spending on prescription drugs was $858, compared with an average of $400 for 19 other industrialized nations, according to the analysis conducted by Aaron S. Kesselheim, MD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, and colleagues. In addition, between 2008 and 2015, prices for the most commonly used brand-name drugs in the United States rose by 164%, far more than the consumer price index increased (12%), authors reported (JAMA 2016. doi: 10.1001 / jama.2016.11237).

"We found that indeed, drug prices in the United States are much higher than anywhere else in the world and the main contributors to that are the U.S. drug marketplace which allows drug companies to charge whatever the market will bear and then, in many respects, places limitations on the ability of payers to try to negotiate lower drug prices," Dr. Kesselheim said in a video interview for JAMA.

To reduce high drug prices, authors propose better federal oversight of drug makers who attempt to extend market exclusivity. For example, changing how the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office interprets novelty and non-obviousness when issuing drug patents could help avoid new secondary patents based on clinically irrelevant changes to active drug products. …

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