03 Aug Patients Suffer as Drug Prices Increase
Our healthcare industry is evolving into a fee-for-value payment system, which promotes value and efficiency. This new system increases the quality of care and focuses on the outcome of treatment for its patients. This industry improvement is now encountering astronomical price increases of prescription drugs which in turn detracts from reinvesting in patient and community care.
In 2015, the ASPE discovered these costs accounted for 16.7% of overall personal healthcare services. In one year alone, Ascension, the largest non-profit health system in our country, spent $73.9 million on prescriptions.
340B Discount Drug Program Under Attack
If this wasn’t concerning enough, the 340B Discount Drug Program is also under attack. The attempt to scale back the program is going to put our most vulnerable citizens at risk, denying them access to medication and quality healthcare. Community Health Centers and other non-profit health systems focus on the people living in poverty. Their ability to provide patients with medications that need it the most is being threatened. Awareness of the increasing drug costs and the importance of the program is crucial if patients are to recover.
I can not emphasize enough how critical the 340B discount drug program is for patients who cannot afford their prescription medications. As a result, providers can reinvest in their community programs for patients when medication costs are reduced. Drug manufacturers, healthcare providers, regulators, and legislators are being encouraged to work together so that medications are available as the industry improves.