At a Senate hearing today, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., thanked the Trump Administration for presenting a blueprint earlier this year, known as “American Patients First,” to help lower drug prices for consumers.
U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, who attended the hearing as a witness, described the proposal as a plan of action to bring drug prices down while keeping America as the world’s leader in pharmaceutical innovation.
Enzi said he appreciates that the Administration’s ideas — such as improving competition, negotiating better prices, lowering the list price of drugs and lowering out-of-pocket costs — were being presented for public review and comment.
At the hearing, Enzi specifically asked Azar about the idea of allowing value-based drug purchasing arrangements, where the price of the drug might vary based on how well it is expected to work in order to reflect its real value.
“If done right, value-based purchasing arrangements bring the patient experience into drug pricing decisions, because they align incentives to increase patient access to drugs that are appropriate and effective for them,” Enzi said.
Azar said that one of the biggest changes to allow these value-based arrangements would be to make the contracts less burdensome to implement, which is already part of the Administration’s agenda.
“We do want to open the door to more value-based and outcome-based contracting,” Azar said. “Most drug companies would like to do outcome-based contracting, put their money where their mouth is, but the cost of implementing can be quite high.”