Drug Summit in Washington D.C. Nov 20th

The highest profile discussion on the rising cost of prescription drugs is set to take place Friday, Nov. 20th in Washington D.C.  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the creation of a forum and panel to discuss the issue. The rising cost of drugs has been in the news and become a hot political issue.  The rate of increase is the highest yearly percentage since 2002, and the issue hasn’t had a political profile as high since seniors were flocking to Canada for cheaper drugs before Medicare Part D.

In the official press release the HHS cited that:

“the high and growing cost of drugs has created hardship for families, employers, and states. Specialty medications represent only 1% of all prescriptions but, in 2014, these medications resulted in over 31% of all drug spending.”

The HHS has tipped their hand here and there is an expectation that a lot of time will be spent on discussing the specialty drug market which has been expanding exponentially.  These drugs are helping solve issues with chronic and terminal diseases, but at great cost to the system.  A lot of emphasis will be focused on access and affordability and the sustainability of the public programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

The afternoon portion of the event will driven by discussions about solutions and implementation.  There will be several hours spent on purchasing strategies and delivering value based treatment to consumers.  Application of big data has been a hallmark of these discussions recently and will be again at HHS on the 20th.  Companies like RxREVU are exactly the type of company that brings data-driven approaches to help providers, physicians, and consumers make the best choices for providing and seeking value based treatment.

The HHS Pharmaceutical Forum: Innovation, Access, Affordability and Better Health invitations have gone out and the HHS has promised the panels will include:

“consumers, providers, employers, manufacturers, health insurance issuers, representatives from state and federal government, and other stakeholders….”

The forum will focus the discussion on how to have the US lead innovation while also delivering effective and affordable drugs to consumers with healthier outcomes.  The list of panelists hasn’t been released, but given the profile of the host this is a discussion worth listening to.

For information about obtaining an invitation and the schedule and topics of the event click here.  If you don’t receive an invitation the forum will be made public through a live webcast.