PhRMA CEO raises concerns with Florida importation proposal, highlights reforms needed to lower costs for patients

Tiffany Haverly
Tiffany Haverly May 8, 2019

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PhRMA is committed to working with lawmakers to ensure patients can access and afford their medicines, but importation schemes that put patient safety at risk are the wrong approach.

In a recent letter to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, PhRMA President and Chief Executive Officer, Stephen J. Ubl, asked Governor DeSantis to veto legislation to create a state-run importation scheme in Florida and highlighted industry-supported reforms that will help patients afford their medicines without compromising their safety.

In the letter, Ubl cites statements made by former and present administration officials and commends the Trump administration for their efforts to lower the cost of medicines.

Key excerpts from the letter are below:
  • Patient safety: “As you know, the supply chain for medicines in the United States is one of the safest in the world thanks to the tireless work of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Five former FDA commissioners – including President Donald Trump’s former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb have spoken out against importation because the safety of any medicine that enters the United States outside FDA-sanctioned channels cannot be verified.”
  • Sharing the savings: “We believe that patients should benefit from the more than $166 billion in rebates and discounts provided to insurance companies, pharmacy benefit managers, the government and other entities in the supply chain in 2018.”…..“In fact, President Trump has proposed sharing rebates at the pharmacy counter with seniors who are enrolled in Medicare Part D. Finalizing this proposal would provide immediate help to Florida seniors who are struggling to afford their medicines.”
  • Delinking supply chain payments: “We support delinking supply chain payments from the list price of a medicine. Pharmacy benefit managers and other entities in the supply chain should not be paid off the list price of a medicine and instead should be paid a fee based on the value of the services they provide.”
  • Empowering patients with information about potential out-of-pocket costs: “We believe empowering patients with information about the potential out-of-pocket costs of their medicines can help ensure patients can access the treatments recommended by their doctors.”
  • Commitment to affordability: “The biopharmaceutical industry is committed to ensuring patients can afford and access their medicines, but a state-run importation program is not the answer.”
Read the full text here.

Topics: Counterfeit Drugs, Prescription Drug Safety, Importation, Drug Importation