Following Committee Hearing, MMS Releases Statement Calling for Transparency in Drug Pricing

Henry L. Dorkin, MD, FAAP, President of the Massachusetts Medical Society, released the following statement regarding the Senate HELP Committee hearing on the cost of prescription drugs:

“Physicians know that it is just as important for medicines to be accessible as that they be effective. Our patients’ health – and in some cases, lives – often depend on their being able to afford the medicines they need. As a pediatric pulmonologist, I have seen the impact of innovative new medicines on my patients’ lives, but I also know that that the prices associated with groundbreaking new medications may be out of reach for many of their families. Physicians have also seen the unfortunate recent trend of rapid and inexplicable increases in the prices of existing drugs, some of which have been available to our patients for decades.

“That’s why the Massachusetts Medical Society thanks Senator Elizabeth Warren and members of the Senate HELP Committee for their work on the issue of the cost of prescription drugs.

“Transparency in pricing, increased competition, and regulatory reform are common-sense approaches to ensuring that our patients get the medicines they need without fear of unsurmountable financial burdens. The current lack of transparency in the pharmacy benefit manager system potentially keeps important manufacturer rebates from leading to an actual reduction in the price consumers pay for those medicines.

“Certainly, the price of prescription drugs is only part of the problem when it comes to patient access to needed medications. Still, we congratulate the members of the HELP Committee, including Senator Warren, for their leadership in convening this important conversation.”

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