Tefferi blames drug company greed, physicians who are too quick to prescribe new drugs without proven efficacy, health insurers willing to go along with upwards of $3,000-a-month co-pays, and a lack of federal government oversight adding checks and balances to a Wild West of drug pricing — especially for the federal health plan for seniors, Medicare, which is barred from negotiating drug prices. That prohibition was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2003.
“The prices are fixed by the drug companies,” Tefferi said. “There is no regulation.”
Dataset for Pricing in the Market for Anticancer Drugs
- Create a post-FDA drug approval review mechanism to propose a fair price for new treatments, based on the value to patients and health care.
- Allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
- Allow the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, created through the Affordable Care Act initiatives to evaluate the benefits of new treatments, and similar organizations to include drug prices in their assessments of the treatment value.
- Allow importation of cancer drugs across borders for personal use (e.g. prices in Canada are about half prices in the United States).
- Pass legislation to prevent drug companies from delaying access to generic drugs.
- Reform patent system to make it more difficult to prolong product exclusivity unnecessarily (patent “evergreening”).
- Encourage organizations that represent cancer specialists and patients (American Society of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Hematology, American Association for Cancer Research, American Cancer Society, National Comprehensive Cancer Network) to consider the overall value of drugs and treatments in their guidelines.