Welcome to the Week in Review.

P4AD Calls Out Big Pharma & PBMs At AHIP 2024

On Tuesday, at this year’s AHIP conference, P4AD Executive Director Merith Basey participated in a keynote panel titled, “Making Prescription Drugs Affordable and Accessible for Everyone,” where she went head-to-head with leaders from Express Scripts and Amazon Pharmacy. Merith exposed the Big Pharma tactics that are driving up drug prices – which disproportionately harmBlack and Brown communities as well as seniors and lower-income individuals. She detailed P4AD’s priorities to rein in costs through system-changing reforms to increase competition, including curbing patent abusesand ensuring successful implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act. Ahead of the panel, Merith previewed her remarks, outlining the need to also address the high cost of cell and gene therapies and increase transparency in the practices of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). — (AHIPP4ADNOWManaged Healthcare ExecutiveManaged Healthcare Executive

Patent Expiration Opens The Door For Lower Prices

By 2030 key patents on several blockbuster drugs will end, presenting a potential window of opportunity for generic competitors to enter the market and help alleviate monopoly pricing. Eliquis, which has a list price seven times higher in the U.S. than in Canada, and Stelara, which costs upwards of $25,000 per month and has nearly tripled in price since entering the market — are prime examples of drugs that have seen their prices soar because of Big Pharma’s anti-competitive practices. Increasing competition is critical to lower drug prices, in fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that generic drug prices were 39 percent lower than brand-name drug prices after one generic competitor entered the market and up to 79 percent lower with the introduction of four competitors. P4ADNOW is pushing for the passage of bipartisan bills, currently moving through Congress, that would curb anti-competitive practices and strengthen market forces to lower drug prices for patients. — (NBC NewsQuartzFDAP4ADNOW)

Legislator Pressure Pharma To Curb Patent Abuse

The push to reform the patent system continues to gain momentum on Capitol Hill. Last week, Senators Warren and Jayapal called on eight pharma CEOs to remove 130 “junk” patents that serve to block lower-cost generics from entering the market. Meanwhile, Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pension (HELP) Chairman Sanders escalated his probe into Novo Nordisk’s patent abuses this week, calling for a vote to subpoena the drug corporation’s president. These actions follow last month’s Senate Judiciary Hearing on the pharmaceutical industry tactics to block generic and biosimilar competition and the efforts to curb these practices – which saw rare bipartisan support from committee members. With polling showing that 9 out of 10 Americans believe lowering prescription costs should be a top Congressional priority, pressure continues to mount for meaningful reform. — (The Washington PostCNN, STATXP4ADNOW)


PBMs, the shady middlemen who negotiate rebate deals with drug manufacturers, operate behind a veil of secrecy that makes it difficult to discern whether they are passing on savings to patients or blocking access to lower-cost competition. Watch this explainer video from STAT News which details the history of the PBM industry and why we need to shine a light on their practices to ensure they are operating on behalf of patients.