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Health leaders launch Alliance for Transparent & Affordable Prescriptions

Health leaders announced the launch of the Alliance for Transparent & Affordable Prescriptions (ATAP), a coalition of provider and patient groups concerned about the practices of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) driving up drug costs.

ATAP

Health leaders announced the launch of the Alliance for Transparent & Affordable Prescriptions (ATAP), a coalition of provider and patient groups concerned about the practices of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) driving up drug costs.

“It’s time for patients and providers to have a voice in the drug pricing debate,”

said Dr Michael Schweitz, Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations (CSRO) Advocacy Chair and practicing rheumatologist. “We must take a stand against the disruptive business practices of PBMs that are counterproductive to our patients.”

Pharmacy benefit managers

PBMs were created to control drug utilisation and cost. While PBMs have become incredibly effective at negotiating discounts and rebates from manufacturers, patients never reap the benefits of these savings. ATAP was created to advocate for eliminating the PBM practices that drain dollars from the healthcare system without providing benefits to patients.

Lowering prices

“Prices of certain medications have increased dramatically over the past decade, making it increasingly difficult for patients to afford essential, sometimes life-saving, therapies,” said Dr Joseph Huffstutter, member of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and practicing rheumatologist.

“Greater transparency will dramatically lower the prices of prescription drugs and help more patients get the treatments they need to effectively manage their chronic conditions.”

Unethical practices

ATAP will promote policy changes that lower the cost of prescription medicines and call attention to the unethical practices of PBMs. The coalition will serve as a voice for patients and providers, two groups grossly underrepresented in the drug pricing debate. CSRO, Arthritis Foundation, Global Healthy Living Foundation, and ACR have joined the coalition, with more organisations in the process of signing on.

“Joining ATAP allows the Arthritis Foundation to continue addressing the healthcare coverage and cost issues patients face, specifically how PBMs should increase transparency and pass on negotiated savings from manufacturers to patients,”

said Ann M. Palmer, CEO and president, Arthritis Foundation. “Continually, we hear that patients don’t understand how their coverage decisions are made and fear drug cost affordability.”

“Patients cannot make informed decisions if their healthcare choices are limited by PBMs that cloak their activities and objectives in complex language and process,” said Seth Ginsberg, Global Healthy Living Foundation co-founder and president. “Our goal is to spotlight the role that PBMs play to influence a patient’s access to care in the hopes that increased awareness will pressure these companies to alter their business practices.”

2 responses to “Health leaders launch Alliance for Transparent & Affordable Prescriptions”

  1. Madelaine Feldman, MD says:

    The headline “Pharma heads launch Alliance for Transparent & Affordable Prescriptions” is inaccurate in that Pharma has no connection to this group, fiduciary or otherwise . In fact ATAP takes no funds from Pharma at all. We don’t even have pharmacists as part of the group because they may benefit monetarily if PBMs are brought down. We are purely advocating for access to medications at a reasonable price for our patients. No one in this alliance has any fiduciary stake in PBMs becoming more transparent. Many pharmaceutical companies do not want the transparency either. PBMs are trying to connect us with pharmaceutical companies to somehow diminish our argument. The fact of the matter is that a number of pharmaceutical companies have benefited from the opaque rebate system and we are calling them out as well.

    Please correct the title or at least correct the impression that Pharma has anything to do with ATAP.

    Thank you,

    Madelaine Feldman, MD Rheumatologist in private practice in New Orleans, LA
    Government Affairs for Rheumatology Alliance of Louisiana
    vice president of Coalition of Rheumatology Organizations

    • Steve Bremer says:

      Hi Madelaine

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Your point is noted and I’ve changed the headline.

      Regards

      Steve Bremer
      Editor

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