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Clinton's "Feel Good" Drug Plan Will Increase Costs And Cut Innovation

- September 28, 2015

Today, Clinton Released An Ad Focusing On Her Prescription Drug Plan That Will Run In Iowa And New Hampshire. "Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton released a new ad on Monday touting her plan to knock down high drug costs. The 30-second spot features the Turing Pharmaceuticals executive who hiked the price of a 62-year-old drug by more than 5,000 percent after acquiring the rights to it. The ad will run in Iowa and New Hampshire, according to the campaign." (Brett Norman, "Clinton Releases Ad On Drug Prices," Politico, 9/28/15)

  • Clinton Revealed Her Prescription Drug Plan Last Week. "Clinton unveiled a plan last week calling for deeper drug rebates to Medicare and giving the program the authority to negotiate on price, following the release of a similar plan by Sanders earlier this month." (Brett Norman, "Clinton Releases Ad On Drug Prices," Politico, 9/28/15)

Clinton's Prescription Drug Plan Is A Retread Of ObamaCare That Will Increase Costs While Reducing Drug Innovation

Clinton's Drug Price Plan Is A "Feel-Good Idea" That "Would Create Perverse Incentives That Could Raise Instead Of Lower The Costs Of Developing New Drugs." "It's a feel-good idea that calls on the companies to account for their claims that they are research entities. But when I ran it by some health economists and other health policy experts, several strongly disliked the idea because it misunderstands the diversity of companies in the pharmaceutical industry. They say it would create perverse incentives that could raise instead of lower the costs of developing new drugs." (Margot Sanger-Katz, "Why Some Policy Experts Question Clinton's Plan To Contain Drug Costs," The New York Times' TheUpshot , 9/22/15)

"It's Not At All Clear That Clinton's Proposals - Some Of Which Have Been Mentioned For Decades" Would Lower Out-Of-Pocket Costs. "But while surveys show that health costs, and particularly drug costs, are a top concern for many voters, it's not at all clear that Clinton's proposals - some of which have been mentioned for decades - would provide an actual cure." (Julie Rovner, "Does Hillary Clinton Have The Prescription For Out-Of-Pocket Costs," Kaiser Health News , 9/25/15)

  • Clinton's Plan To Limit "Out-Of-Pocket Spending" On Pharmaceutical's Is Already Limited By ObamaCare. "Clinton's drug costs plan would limit patients' out-of-pocket spending on pharmaceutical treatment to $250 a month, or $3,000 a year. ObamaCare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, limited total out-of-pocket medical spending to $6,600 a year for an individual, and $13,200 for a family." (Anna Edney, "Clinton Promises Health Insurance Merger Scrutiny In Policy Plan," Bloomberg , 9/23/15)

Amitabh Chandra, Public Policy Professor At Harvard University: Clinton's Plan Is An "Astonishingly Naïve Approach" That Could Result In Wasteful Research Spending And Do Nothing To Lower Prices. "'This is an astonishingly naïve approach,' said Amitabh Chandra, a professor of public policy at Harvard University, in an email. He argues that the plan could encourage wasteful research spending without necessarily doing much about the prices charged for medications." (Margot Sanger-Katz, "Why Some Policy Experts Question Clinton's Plan To Contain Drug Costs," The New York Times' TheUpshot , 9/22/15)

Ed Kaplan, Sr. V.P Of The Segal Group: Clinton's Out-Of-Pocket Cap "Doesn't Differ Much From The Limits Already Set By" ObamaCare. "Ms. Clinton's plan to cap out-of-pocket costs at $250 month, or $3,000 annually, doesn't differ much from the limits already set by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, said Ed Kaplan, New York-based senior vice president and national health practice leader with The Segal Group Inc." (Shelby Livingston, "Hillary Clinton's Prescription Drug Plan Not What The Doctor Ordered," Business Insurance , 9/23/15)

  • Kaplan: Clinton's Plan "Doesn't Get To The Heart Of The Matter," And "Capping The 'Employee's Exposure" To The Cost Of The Drug Does Nothing To Help The Employer, Who Will Pick Up The Tab." "Ms. Clinton's plan 'doesn't get to the heart of the matter,' Mr. Kaplan said. Capping the 'employee's exposure' to the cost of the drug does nothing to help the employer, who will pick up the tab, he said." (Shelby Livingston, "Hillary Clinton's Prescription Drug Plan Not What The Doctor Ordered," Business Insurance , 9/23/15)

Steve Wojcik, V.P. Of Policy At The National Business Group On Health In Washington: Clinton's Plan "Doesn't Solve The Problem" And "The Price Of The Medication Is Still Being Absorbed By The (Health) Plan And Will Be Reflected Somehow In The Premiums." "The $250 cap on out-of-pocket expenses would give immediate relief to individuals taking expensive medications, but 'it doesn't solve the problem,' said Steve Wojcik, vice president of public policy at the National Business Group on Health in Washington. 'The price of the medication is still being absorbed by the (health) plan and will be reflected somehow in the premiums,' he said." (Shelby Livingston, "Hillary Clinton's Prescription Drug Plan Not What The Doctor Ordered," Business Insurance , 9/23/15)

Dr. Steve Miller: Chief Medical Office Of Express Scripts Holding Co.: Price Controls "Erode Pharmaceutical Innovation In The U.S. And Around The Globe." "In a blog post Tuesday, Dr. Steve Miller, chief medical officer of Express Scripts Holding Co., said federal price controls 'erode pharmaceutical innovation in the U.S. and around the globe.'" (Shelby Livingston, "Hillary Clinton's Prescription Drug Plan Not What The Doctor Ordered," Business Insurance , 9/23/15)


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