March 10, 2023 (WASHINGTON, D.C.) The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) released the following statement today as a follow up to the White House budget announcement:
“There are more than one in two Americans living with one, and more often, multiple chronic conditions. Prioritizing prevention is critical for the future of our health care system. We must focus on how to get people to Medicare healthier.
“Expanding price controls enacted under the Inflation Reduction Act without fully understanding the impacts of its initial implementation will have unintended consequences that will only further burden an already ailing health care system plagued with increasing impacts of chronic disease and health care worker shortages.
“Expanding Medicare price controls as described in the President’s budget could quickly ground the Cancer Moonshot by undercutting the incentives for innovation that make it possible. Budgeting billions to change cancer forever and for ARPA-H while undercutting the innovation ecosystem needed to realize the fruits of these investments is a wasted effort that threatens far more than cancer innovation.
“Patients fail to benefit from significant discounts, rebates, and other price concessions on prescription drugs under the President’s budget — and in the system in general. The President’s budget imposes additional price controls while providing no real relief for patients at the pharmacy counter. It’s a windfall for PBMs and insurers, and a source of revenue to pay for budget proposals without truly addressing high costs for patients.
“We know that lower out-of-pocket costs ultimately improve overall health outcomes but ensuring that health care savings are actually felt by patients will not happen without aiming a magnifying glass at and taking action to address pharmacy benefit manager and health insurer policies that drive up prices and shift costs to patients.
“The unintended consequences of compromising patient access to the treatments prescribed by their providers will only compound the challenges being posed by chronic disease across the health care continuum.”