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.