The administration and the Congress are currently discussing various proposals to reform drug pricing policy. Drug prices, as listeners are likely well aware, have risen substantially over the past two decades. For example, between 1997 and 2007 they tripled and currently year-over-year Medicare Part D drug spending is expected to grow through 2026 at twice the 2007 through 2013 growth rate. The administration formally began its effort last May with the announcement of its drug pricing "blueprint." The Congress is currently holding hearings, e.g., the Senate Finance and House Oversight committees, on drug pricing. The administration currently is proposing two drug pricing reforms that would address both Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D drug pricing and the Congress has already introduced several bills to curb drug price growth.
During this 28 minute conversation Dr. Levin discusses ATAP's mission and funding and ATAP's position on the administration's current proposal to reform Medicare Part B drug pricing via reference pricing or via the use of an international price index. Dr. Levin discusses moreover the administration's current proposal to reform Medicare Part D drug pricing by eliminating or prohibiting drug manufacturers from paying a rebate to pharmaceutical benefit managers (PBMs) and Part D plan sponsors. Our conversation concludes with Dr. Levin's comments concerning the long standing debate whether the Secretary of DHHS should be allowed to negotiate Part D drug prices with manufacturers.
Dr. Robert Levin is the President of the Alliance for Transparent and Affordable Prescriptions (ATAP), President of the Florida Society of Rheumatology and is a practicing physician in Tampa Bay. He teaches medicine at the University of South Florida and has served as a principal investigator in dozens of clinical trials involving rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, lower back pain and fibromylagia. Dr. Levin is board certified in Internal Medicine with a sub-specialty in rheumatoid arthritis and is a fellow with the American College of Rheumatology and the American College of Physicians. He earned his medical degree at Hahnemann University in Pennsylvania, did his residency at the Medical College of Pennsylvania and earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Oberlin College in Ohio.
For information on ATAP go to: https://atapadvocates.com/.
Concerning the proposed Medicare drug rebate proposal go to: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2019-02-06/pdf/2019-01026.pdf.
For an overview of drug pricing issues, see, for example, Hopkins Professor Gerald Anderson's recent Senate Finance Committee testimony, at: https://oversight.house.gov/legislation/hearings/examining-the-actions-of-drug-companies-in-raising-prescription-drug-prices.