Pharma’s latest defense: Drugs lower health-care costs

Both Ricks along with Read were responding to questions about the potential threat by a brand-new health-care consortium of Amazon, J.P. Morgan along with Berkshire Hathaway, designed to bring down health costs for their employees, their families, along with — according to J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, potentially all Americans.

along with the comments came the week President Donald Trump named tackling the “injustice of high drug prices” a top priority for his administration in 2018, as part of his State of the Union address.

The drug industry can be under siege. So does its latest defense hold water?

Yes — with caveats.

The Congressional Budget Office published a study in 2012 on the issue: the item estimates which for every 1 percent increase inside the number of prescriptions filled by Medicare beneficiaries, the government insurer’s spending on medical services could decline by about 0.2 percent, along with vice versa.

In many ways, This particular makes sense. As the CBO report points out, “most often, pharmaceuticals hold the effect of improving or maintaining an individual’s health” — for example, taking antibiotics to prevent a more severe infection or adhering to medication to manage a chronic condition like diabetes or high blood pressure.

“In either of those circumstances, taking the medication may also avert hospital admissions thereby reduce the use of medical services,” the report said.

The CBO came to its estimate by reviewing recent studies on the relationship between use of prescription medicines along with spending on medical services. Universally, the studies cited found which reductions in use of prescription drugs resulted in increased spending on medical services, along with likewise, which more generous coverage of prescription drugs led to fewer hospitalizations along with fewer medical services used.

So, yes, attempting to control health costs by reducing the use of prescription drugs could result in higher spending on medical services (along with, importantly, could be harmful to people who need those drugs to manage their disease).

yet as a defense for the ever-increasing prices of brand-name drugs? Critics say the support doesn’t go which far.

“In general, there can be research when you’re talking about adherence to necessary meds,” said Walid Gellad, director of the University of Pittsburgh Center for Pharmaceutical Policy & Prescribing. “However, increased use of expensive drugs when generics are available, or the meds are not needed inside the first place, does not lower overall health costs.”

“As usual, there can be truth to what can be said,” Gellad concluded. “yet not the whole truth.”

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