FiercePharma, by Eric Sagonowsky,
For years, drugmakers and PBMs have tussled over who’s to blame for high drug prices. That didn’t change Tuesday when a congressional committee hauled in executives from insulin makers Sanofi, Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk as well as from pharmacy benefit managers CVS, Express Scripts and Optum. Going forward, though, one thing will change, several lawmakers told the pharma and PBM executives. The “status quo is not going to continue,” Rep. Joe Kennedy said. “It can’t.”
That remains to be seen, but at a Wednesday hearing, members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce highlighted some of the reasons for making that promise. Patients are rationing insulin because they can’t afford it, the lawmakers pointed out, and some of those patients are dying.
When it came to ideas for change, though, the discussion was less clear-cut. It ranged over topics familiar after years of debate over high drug prices. The drugmakers said their net prices have fallen as the rebates they pay PBMs have mushroomed, while the PBMs argued their negotiations save health systems money.
They did agree on one thing: Each executive said no patient should have to suffer due to high drug prices.