|A Biden administration will likely bring in a fresh set of policy approaches to drug prices after four years of executive orders and limited federal action. Curious about what might influence the new administration?
Here’s a “reading list” of drug-pricing commentary from some of Biden’s current policy advisors. We’ll keep updating as more people — and more papers — emerge.
- Ezekiel Emanuel is a former Obama administration health policy advisor who now is a professor at the University of Pennslyvania and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. He is also a member of Biden’s COVID-19 task force.
- Biden has expressed interest in Germany’s drug-reimbursement process, and Emanuel and colleagues wrote about ex-U.S. approach in JAMA Internal Medicine this summer.
- Emanuel proposed an average lifetime earnings standard for drug prices. Under this framework, if a drug exceeds 11% of an average American’s disposable income, it is deemed unjust.
- He wrote that President Trump’s plan to require drug ads to list prices was unenforceable and failed to address the root causes of high drug prices.
- In an op-ed that got a lot of attention on the right, Emanuel said he does not want to live past the age of 75, arguing that health care costs to extend life “misguided and potentially destructive.”
- Emanuel has also critiqued pharma’s messaging that links prices to future innovation.
- Andy Slavitt was the former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) director under the Obama administration and is currently a senior advisor to the Bipartisan Policy Center.
- Slavitt and former FDA Commissioner Robert Califf outlined four ways to address innovative drug pricing: (1) importation from other countries; (2) reduction of bloated administrative and marketing activities; (3) direct negotiations between federal payers and industry; and (4) creation of a value-based system.
- Slavitt has also expressed support to improve the coverage and reimbursement of novel gene therapies.
- Edwin Park is a research professor at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy. He previously served as the health policy advisor for the National Economic Council at the White House during the Clinton administration.
- Park and Andrea Noda, director of health care at Arnold Ventures, warned that using alternative payment models in Medicaid for expensive therapies would “do little or nothing to discourage excessive launch prices for new drugs.”
- He also called Trump’s 2020 budget that would have cut Medicaid spending and replaced the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion a “damaging demonstration project.” CFF: Trump Budget Includes Harmful Medicaid Drug Rebate Proposal, Several Sound Improvements
- Eliot Fishman is the Senior Director of Health Policy at Families USA. He previously served as the Director of State Demonstrations Group at the Centers for Medicaid and CHIP Services under the Obama administration.
- Jonathan Blum is a Managing Principal at Health Management Associates and previously served as Principal Deputy Administrator at CMS under the Obama Administration.
- Blum raised questions about the Trump Administration’s plan to eliminate drug rebates, focusing on how the plan would impact Medicare Part D premiums and the steps needed to ensure negotiated discounts are delivered at the point of sale.
- Sylvia Mathews Burwell was Health and Human Services Secretary under the Obama administration and is currently the president of American University.