Value-Based Care Proposal Could Reduce Drug Costs

Commonwealth Fund researchers present ideas for increasing competition, applying value-based purchasing, and protecting patients from high out-of-pocket costs.

Health policy experts laid out a series of proposals to bring down prescription drug costs, lower US healthcare spending, and protect patients in a series of 3 papers published recently as Health Affairs Policy Options Papers. The papers, supported by the Commonwealth Fund, advocate for increasing competition, applying value-based purchasing, and protecting patients from high out-of-pocket costs.

The first 2 papers—one by Jonathan J. Darrow and Aaron S. Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH; and the other by Steven D. Pearson, MD, and co-authors—propose 5 ways to increase competition, both among brand name manufacturers and through lower-cost generic drugs:

  • Government agencies could make more information available about a drug’s value relative to its clinical benefit.
  • Pharmacists could have expanded ability to substitute prescribed medications with less expensive drugs that are chemically similar and just as effective.
  • The FDA could expedite the approval process for generic drugs and other potential competitors to existing therapies.
  • Policy makers could allow the importation of generic drugs from other countries, particularly during periods of drug shortages in the United States.

Click to continue reading on The American Journal of Managed Care.