ACP calls for increased competition in prescription drug market

The new policy paper is the third installment of a series. Previous papers have offered recommendations related to public health programs and pharmacy benefit managers.

In a new policy paper released this week, ACP called for increasing competition in the marketplace and addressing anticompetitive behaviors to combat the rising costs of prescription drugs.

The new paper, which was written by ACP's Health and Public Policy Committee, is the third installment of a series and was published Sept. 15 by Annals of Internal Medicine. Previous papers on public health programs and pharmacy benefit managers were published Nov. 12, 2019.

Specific recommendations include the following:

  • ACP supports legislative reforms to the Orphan Drug Act 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 seven 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 to address anticompetitive behaviors and gaming through guidance, congressional action, or additional resource support.
  • ACP supports elimination of tax deductions for direct-to-consumer product claim advertisements.

“Increasing the availability of lower-cost drugs in the prescription drug marketplace is vital to achieving lower out-of-pocket costs for patients and driving the price of prescription drugs down,” the authors wrote. “The ACP believes that to accomplish this, we must realign incentives that reward true innovation, prevent manufacturers from exploiting loopholes, and address business practices that lead to increased costs to the health system.”

This paper and the two papers from 2019 expand on ACP's comprehensive policy on drug pricing that began with “Stemming the Escalating Cost of Prescription Drugs,” which was published by Annals of Internal Medicine in 2016.