HealthDay News – The Health and Public Policy Committee of the American College of Physicians (ACP) has published a position paper that outlines new recommendations and policies to address the increasing cost of prescription drugs. These recommendations were published in the Annals in Internal Medicine.

The ACP supports:

  • Policies that increase marketability and availability of competitor products; 
  • Transparency in relation to pricing, costs, and comparative value of pharmaceutical products;
  • Allowing greater flexibility by Medicare and other funded health programs to negotiate volume discounts; 
  • Consideration of legislative or regulatory measures to reimport certain drugs, and policies or programs that may encourage competition; 
  • Research into novel approaches to encourage value-based decision making;
  • Eliminating research restrictions associated with quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute;
  • Tiered restrictive formularies that are used by payers must be set up for patient cost-sharing for specialty drugs;
  • Development of biosimilar drug policies to clarify interchangeability issues with prescribers and patients to limit confusion.

The ACP opposes extending market or data exclusivity periods beyond the current exclusivities.

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Summary and Clinical Applicability

The rising cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. needs to be addressed, as more patients struggle to afford medication that can potentially decrease morbidity and mortality associated with particular diseases. 

“Through collaboration and innovation, stakeholders have the ability to affect change by supporting transparency in how drugs are priced, developing and piloting novel approaches to evaluate and pay for drugs through evidence-based practices that reward advancements in the medical field, assuring access to needed prescription medication by not placing disproportionate economic burden on patients, encouraging informed patient participation in their health care decision making, and ensuring a truly competitive marketplace,” the authors write.


Daniel H for the Health and Public Policy Committee of the American College of Physicians. Stemming the Escalating Cost of Prescription Drugs: A Position Paper of the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2016; Published online ahead of print March 29, 2016 doi:10.7326/M15-2768