The drug industry is fighting back in an escalating battle between two Washington lobbying titans. After weeks of rhetorical beatings over the humongous cost of hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, drugmakers released a study last week documenting high patient cost-sharing for drugs in health plans sold through the Obamacare exchanges.
The study, conducted by Avalere Health on behalf of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, looked at drug formularies in 123 silver-tier plans, covering the largest city in every state. It found that a fifth of the plans required cost-sharing of at least 40% for some specialty drugs used to treat multiple sclerosis, cancer, HIV/AIDS and other illnesses.
John Castellani, CEO of PhRMA, called on HHS to limit exchange customers' out-of-pocket drug costs. He said the report shows that “many Americans still find themselves unable to access the care they desperately need due to high out-of-pocket costs.”