The 116th Congress has introduced numerous pieces of legislation meant to reduce the impact of the cost of medicines and treatments on American patients. The ACR fully supports the goal of reducing the cost burden on patients and increasing access to treatments. The College has convened a working group on drug pricing and published a set of guiding principles that would help maximize rheumatology patients’ access to treatments. Stay tuned for updates about what happens to the various active bills in Congress.
The College has closely monitored the introduced bills and voiced support for those that best align with its principles on drug pricing. The ACR’s position is that:
- All patients should have safe, convenient and affordable access to rheumatology treatments that control disease activity and prevent permanent joint and organ damage, thereby limiting disability and early death;
- Rational policies that mitigate rapid escalations in pricing of rheumatologic drugs must be adopted;
- Transparency should be encouraged in the policies used by pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers and health insurance companies to determine prescription drug prices;
- A safe and efficient biosimilar approval pathway and marketplace will improve access to treatment by lowering costs;
- Any comprehensive proposal to deal with rising drug prices must simultaneously address these primary concerns: cost to the healthcare system, continuity of care and out-of-pocket affordability for patients; and
- Patient access to physician-administered drugs can only be preserved by recognizing the rheumatologists’ role in providing specialized, continuous care.
You can review the College’s letters of support for qualifying legislation on the ACR’s Advocacy site. While on the ACR website, visit the ACR’s Legislative Action Center, where you can also tell Congress to reform prior authorization and step therapy, and boost DXA reimbursement and the pediatric subspecialty workforce.