Good, go after rising drug prices. But first target the real problem
As a pharmacist and advocate for the patients I serve, I was disappointed to read the details on U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly’s committee hearing focused on rising prescription drug costs.
As someone who has worked in the drug supply chain since 1998, I know that the issue is much more complex than simply saying “drug costs are too high, let's lower them” and expect real change.
To solve rising drug prices, we need to look at the root of the problem, which include pharmacy benefit managers. These are the middlemen who decide which drugs are covered by an insurer’s formulary.
They exert tremendous power in the supply chain, and their influence is only growing. They do not pass the rebates that are provided by the drug manufacturers onto the consumer, while steering patients towards certain pharmacies that they own regardless of cost savings or convenience.
Their practices have caught the attention of state legislatures all over the country (including here in Arizona) who are seeking to ban some of these unscrupulous practices. I applaud Sen. Kelly for trying his best to solve high drug prices, but he needs to focus on the real problem.
Teresa Dickinson, Phoenix