Over the past several decades, the biopharmaceutical sector in the United States has been successful in developing and delivering effective drugs for improving health and fighting disease, and many medical conditions that were long deemed untreatable can now be cured or managed effectively. At the same time, spending on prescription drugs has been rising dramatically, to the point that many individuals have difficulty paying for the drugs that they or their family members need. Drug costs are now a significant part of the nation’s total spending on health care.
A new report, Making Medicines Affordable: A National Imperative, from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends a number of actions aimed at improving the affordability of prescription drugs without discouraging continued innovation in drug development. The report looks at a number of related areas including the role of generics and biosimilars, intellectual property, financial transparency, drug advertising, as well as insurance benefit designs.
Norman Augustine (chair), former chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation
Jeff Bingaman, former U.S. senator, New Mexico
Michelle Mello, professor of law and professor of health research and policy, Stanford University
Eliseo Pérez-Stable, director, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health
Charles Phelps, university professor and provost emeritus, University of Rochester