The Alliance

The Weekly Dose | 02.07.20

February 7, 2020 10:10 am

As we have noted before, APMI’s mission is to preserve an environment where patients have access to the drugs they need, at precisely the moment they need them. Part of that means ensuring private industry can marshal the resources needed to tackle emerging threats such as the coronavirus.


While government officials are working quickly to contain the threat, the private sector is trying to find a viable treatment. According to the U.S. Embassy in Georgia, at least four U.S. pharmaceutical companies—Inovio, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Novavax—are working on vaccines to combat the coronavirus or stop its spread. Gilead Sciences is working with Chinese health authorities to see if its experimental drug Remdesivir, which was used to treat the Ebola virus, can be used to combat the coronavirus.


These efforts are possible because innovation thrives in America.


If you need more info on industry innovation for a story, or have questions, please email us. We look forward to working with you.


We look forward to working with you.



Patrick O’Connor – Executive Director

Rosemarie Calabro Tully – Communications Director




APMI Executive Director Patrick O’Connor released a statement in advance of President Donald Trump’s State of the Union. O’Connor said: “I understand the president wants to tout a policy win on the campaign trail, but pegging drug prices in the U.S. to countries with single-payer healthcare systems is not the right path to pursue. There is a reason the U.S. develops more new treatments than the rest of the world combined: because we are the only country that does not artificially suppress the price of prescription drugs.”




- .@ntlalliancehlth recently reported that employers are growing uneasy about #PBMs and their role in setting #drugprices. Due to poor transparency, some employers question whether drug formularies “benefit them, their employees, or the PBMs.” Click here to RT.  


- The minimal savings that #PBMs provide are less concerning than their ability to decide which #drugs #patients take or have access to. From prior authorization to step therapy, we discuss PBMs’ controversial role in the drug supply chain here: Click here to RT.


- The contracts between employers & #PBMs typically specify certain savings, but “often limit employers’ right to audit.” This leads to an overutilization of expensive drugs, higher patient cost sharing, and more employer spending. Via @Health_Affairs: Click here to RT.




Check out and share on Twitter our latest blog posts:


- The IPI, H.R. 3, And The Senate Drug-Pricing Bill. Whether it's an International Pricing Index, H.R. 3, or the Senate Drug-Pricing Bill, the truth is there is little difference between any of the price-fixing mechanisms on the table. All of these would curtail innovation in America. We take a deeper dive. Click here to read the full blog post. Share on Twitter here.


- The Logic Behind AARP’s Public Drug-Pricing Campaign. AARP is one of the biggest proponents of drug-pricing legislation, but a new report illustrates how the organization’s public policy positions would harm the senior citizens AARP is supposed to represent—but enrich AARP itself. Click here to read the full blog post. Share on Twitter here.


- A Look At Drug Pricing For The New Year. As it has for the past few years, the new year brought headlines about the number of pharmaceuticals for which list prices will increase. Thankfully, at least a few news outlets, offered context that should help Americans understand this issue more fully. Click here to read the full blog post. Share on Twitter here.




- Price Controls Have Harmed Patients Abroad. Political consultant Doug Schoen warns candidates and lawmakers not to embrace the International Pricing Index (IPI). Schoen reminds readers that “roughly 96 percent of new cancer medicines are made available in the United States, while the 16 countries used in the International Pricing Index only have 55 percent of new cancer medicines.” He also notes, “patients in these 16 countries also receive these medications on average 17 months after release, whereas in the United States, patients have almost immediate access to new cancer medicines following FDA approval.” The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease also weighed in against the IPI in a press release.


- CVS, Other Chain Pharmacies Putting Patients At Risk? Politico’s “Prescription Pulse” reported this week that “pharmacists at major chains like CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens say understaffing and chaotic workplaces are putting patients at risk of serious errors like messing up medications.” In fact: “Many pharmacists have written to state regulatory boards saying that they are struggling through piles of prescription fills, calls to doctors and insurers, and meeting corporate performance metrics — and it’s raising risks. CVS is a particular concern: The American Psychiatric Association has said the chain routinely ignores doctors’ explicit instructions to dispense limited amounts of medication to mental health patients.”


- New Report Digs Into PBM Practices—And Finds Major Problems. According to STAT News, “As angst rises over the prices paid for medicines, a new analysis finds some pharmacy benefit managers that contract with Medicaid managed care organizations in Florida are pushing prescriptions to drugstore chains they control, raising costs for consumers and taxpayers.” The report, issued by Florida Pharmacy Association and American Pharmacy Cooperative Inc. and available here, also “noted that PBMs sometimes reimbursed their own pharmacies for certain medicines at substantially higher rates than what other drug stores received, and payments to their affiliated pharmacies greatly exceeded the cost to dispense the drugs.”




In a new paper examining proposed changes to the U.S. patent system, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation scholars Philip Stevens and Stephen Ezell have this gem of a paragraph:


“The current market-based system of drug development allows for experimentation and competition within and between therapeutic classes. Thousands of promising leads enter the drug development pathway, but only a few make it through the rigorous process of clinical trials. The cost of failures and the risks are borne almost entirely by the private sector at no cost to taxpayers.”


American Action Forum Director of Health Care Policy Christopher Holt argues there is not a whole lot of difference between the Trump administration’s International Pricing Index (IPI) proposal and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Average International Market (AIM) price in H.R. 3:


“Ultimately the most substantive difference between Pelosi’s AIM plan and the Trump Administration’s IPI proposal is a matter of scale. H.R. 3 applies to more of the U.S. drug market, but the two plans pull similar levers. It is simply not intellectually honest for the administration to push forward with IPI based on its own criticism of H.R. 3.




February 10, 2020, All Day: The Academy Health’s 2020 National Health Policy Conference

Location: Marriott Marquis, Washington, D.C.

Topic: Health Policy

Agenda: Join the nation’s leading health-care decision makers and policy leaders for an extensive overview of the nation’s health policy agenda.

Contact: 202-292-6700