Statement attributable to:
Jack Ende, MD, MACP
President, American College of Physicians
Washington (December 1, 2017)— Yesterday, the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) released a groundbreaking report, sponsored in part by the American College of Physicians (ACP), on ways to stem the rise in prescription drug cost. The report, Making Medicines Affordable: A National Imperative, makes a number of sound recommendations that could help make substantial headway in making prescription medications more affordable for patients. The report calls for increased competition on the market especially for generics and biosimilars, and increased negotiating authority on the part of the U.S. government, which are consistent with ACP’s paper, Stemming the Escalating Cost of Prescription Drugs. As a sponsor, ACP was pleased to have the opportunity to share its recommendations with NASEM during the earliest stages of the report’s development.
Advances in medicine have been lifesaving but they need to be affordable to society and individual patients. Over the past several years, we have seen a dramatic rise in the cost of prescription drugs in this country. These increases apply not only to specialty drugs that treat life-threatening illness like cancer, but also common drugs like antibiotics that treat bacterial infections. Ensuring and improving patient access to prescription drugs is a growing need. Non-compliance with medication regimens can lead to more serious health complications, more patients suffering from disease and more costs to society.
Making prescription medications more affordable is an issue of critical importance to patients across the country. We are pleased that NASEM has offered a road map for steps that can and must be taken to help patients have access to affordable prescriptions, and we call on federal and state legislators and regulators to consider and take action to implement the report’s recommendations. Continued work on this issue needs to seek the input of all stakeholders, especially physicians and patients, in order to fully understand the impact that policies could have on different aspects of health care. Any prescription can only be as effective as a patient’s ability to access it.
About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization in the United States with members in more than 145 countries worldwide. ACP membership includes 152,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internal medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.
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