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Internists Call for Increased Competition in Prescription Drug Market to Help Mitigate Rising Costs

Washington, DC (September 15, 2020) — Today the American College of Physicians (ACP) released a new policy paper focused on increasing competition in the marketplace and addressing anticompetitive behaviors to combat the rising costs of prescription drugs. The new paper titled “Policy Recommendations to Promote Prescription Drug Competition: A Position Paper From the American College of Physicians”, is the third installment of a series published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

ACP specifically offered the following recommendations:

  • ACP supports legislative reforms to the Orphan Drug Act (ODA) that realign incentives offered through the law to support increased innovation in rare disease drug development.
  • ACP supports reducing the period of data and market exclusivity for biologic drugs from 12 years to 7 years. ACP also supports removing additional barriers to biosimilar market entry, such as modifications to the current patent system that would reduce excessive patenting on brand-name and biologic drugs.
  • ACP opposes anticompetitive pay-for-delay arrangements that curtail access to lower-cost alternative drugs. ACP believes applicable federal agencies should be empowered through guidance, congressional action, or additional resource support to address anticompetitive behaviors and gaming.
  • ACP supports elimination of tax deductions for direct-to-consumer product claim advertisements.

“We are currently living through a time of extreme financial duress for many people because of the Coronavirus pandemic,“ said Heather E. Gantzer, MD, FACP, Chair, Board of Regents, ACP. “Now more than ever, it is extremely important for ACP to advocate for multiple approaches to help ensure that patients have access to affordable prescription drugs as it might be a matter of life or death for some people.”

The new paper follows the previously published papers “Policy Recommendations for Public Health Plans to Stem the Escalating Costs of Prescription Drugs: A Position Paper From the American College of Physicians” and “Policy Recommendations for Pharmacy Benefit Managers to Stem the Escalating Costs of Prescription Drugs: A Position Paper From the American College of Physicians” that both made recommendations about the role of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) and  how to address the issue of prescription drug costs within public health plans. Together the three papers expand on ACP’s comprehensive policy on drug pricing that began with the 2016 paper, Stemming the Escalating Cost of Prescription Drugs.

“Improving access to lower-cost prescription drugs is key to lowering patient costs and driving down prescription drug prices,” said Dr. Gantzer. “We need concrete actions to address manipulative and anticompetitive behaviors and level the playing field to ensure that the prescription drug market is truly competitive.”

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Contact: Taneishia Bundy, (202) 261-4523, tbundy@acponline.org

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 163,000 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, Facebook, and Instagram.