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Five Key Principles Pelosi Ignores For Sound Prescription Medication Pricing Reform [Opinion]

An honest opinion from a doctor…

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Congress and policy makers in Washington are intently focused on how to optimally manage the cost of prescription medications. Many proposals have already been released and it is likely that this focus will continue well into the 2020 elections and beyond. This focus is appropriate given the importance access to medications plays as a cornerstone of the management of most medical conditions. It is also likely that over the next several months and years there will be a myriad of legislative and regulatory proposals floated, debated, and voted on or enacted.

Given the profound impact these policy changes will have on the efficacy of health care in the United States and, most importantly, the well-being of patients across the country, Men’s Health Network strongly urges public sector policy makers and regulators as well as private sector payers, benefit managers and PBM executives to adhere to the following principles to ensure that proposed reforms are focused on ultimately benefiting patients and optimizing the costs associated with adhering to prescribed medical therapies.

Five Key Principles to Sound Prescription Medication Pricing Reform:

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Prioritize Straightforward and Effective Reforms

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-Instead of overhauling systems or creating more complexity and confusion in an already complicated health system, policymakers should create systems and procedures that are simple, transparent, understandable and effective. This is of paramount importance to restoring the faith of patients in the system that has been lost as the processes have become mysterious, veiled in secrecy and overly complex and convoluted.

Ensure Cost Reductions Are Passed to Patients

-Any reforms must honor the tenant that was at the forefront of establishing the current system by returning the lion’s share of cost savings – whether they be from contract-rates, rebates, price concessions or whatever – to the patient. Further, the goal of reform should be to reduce patient out-of-pocket expenditures for prescription medications from current levels, rather than just holding the line on costs which are already problematic for many. Returning cost savings to insurance companies and PBMs (most of which are interlaced) or any other entity other than the patient is wrong.

Protect Access to Care

-Pricing reforms and caps on out-of-pocket expenditures for medications make sense only if they do not impede access to treatments. A “rob Peter to pay Paul” strategy where short term caps are imposed at the expense of significantly higher premiums or more restrictive access has not worked. If caps are instituted, they should be designed in a way to reduce out-of-pocket expenses without compromising other core elements of prescription care or access.

Preserve the Provider/Patient Relationship

-Access to the full spectrum of medications and innovative therapies should not be restricted by limited formularies or an undue trial-and-error process. The selection of therapeutic alternatives must honor the wishes and values of patients within a system that keeps the patient-healthcare provider relationship as the focal point of treatment decision making.

Allow Markets (Not Government) to Reduce Prices

-Pricing models and mechanisms should be market based, not dictated by government or policies. Establishing arbitrary price targets using reference standards that are not applicable to the needs, wishes and way of life of American patients undercuts fundamental principles of free markets.

These five principles have one commonality – keeping the long-term best interests of patients in focus. In the end that will fulfill the ethical and social obligations of providers, government and health benefit managers and enhance the care of patients.

As part of our work educating and providing advocacy opportunities for men, boys and their families, Men’s Health Network will continue to explore these principles in more depth in the coming weeks. Please check back here on our blog to follow the series or reach out on social media to engage, ask questions, and learn more about the policies that impact men’s health.

Dr. Salvatore J. Giorgianni, PharmD is Sr. Science Adviser, Men’s Health Network

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China’s ‘Oppressive & Inhumane Regime’ Has Been Added to UN Human Rights Council (Details)

Right after they failed to warn the world sooner of COVID-19…

John Salvatore

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China has no business being on the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. That should go without saying. And yet, we live in crazy times. Here’s the deal, via UN Watch: China was appointed on Wednesday to a United Nations Human Rights Council panel where it will play a key role in picking the world body’s human rights investigators — including global monitors on freedom of speech, health, enforced disappearances, and arbitrary detention — in a move that has sparked protest by international human rights activists. “Allowing China’s oppressive and inhumane regime to choose the world investigators on freedom of speech, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances is like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental human rights organization based in Geneva that closely monitors the 47-nation UN Human Rights Council, and a leader in speaking out at the UN for victims in China. Neuer added, “It’s absurd and immoral for the UN to allow China’s oppressive government a key role in selecting officials who shape international human rights standards and report on violations worldwide.” https://twitter.com/HillelNeuer/status/1245890358342553603?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1245890358342553603&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Funwatch.org%2Fchina-joins-u-n-human-rights-panel-will-help-pick-experts-on-free-speech-health-arbitrary-detention%2F https://twitter.com/UNWatch/status/1245891526892363776?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1245891526892363776&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ftherightscoop.com%2Funbelievable-china-joins-united-nations-human-rights-group-despite-unleashing-global-pandemic%2F Here’s more COVID-19 randomness, via Twitter… https://twitter.com/Breaking911/status/1246522120584208384 https://twitter.com/realDailyWire/status/1246548840980725760 https://twitter.com/TMZ/status/1246578318679343104 https://twitter.com/realDailyWire/status/1246554736788033536 https://twitter.com/barstoolsports/status/1246587867603886080 https://twitter.com/TMZ/status/1246432969469726720 https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1246522957398245381 https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1246522958421639168 https://twitter.com/Breaking911/status/1246534491402895363 https://twitter.com/IAMTOMMACDONALD/status/1246510492958494720

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Ocasio-Cortez: America Is A ‘Brutal, Barbarian Society’ for Most ‘Working-Class Americans’

She cannot be serious…

John Salvatore

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New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should not be seen as a role model for young women. Sure, she obtained a prestigious position at a young age as a member of the lower chamber. But at the end of the day, morals and values are what matter. AOC also has next to zero love for her country, despite her successes. To claim the United States is a “brutal, barbarian society” is bush league at its finest. LOOK: https://twitter.com/tomselliott/status/1246395059651653638?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1246395059651653638&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitchy.com%2Fbrettt-3136%2F2020%2F04%2F04%2Frep-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-says-the-us-is-a-brutal-barbarian-society-for-most-working-class-citizens%2F REACTIONS: The View’s Joy Behar is one of President Trump’s loudest celebrity critics, but if you sat her down and told her to list the reasons why she hates POTUS she probably wouldn’t have a solid answer for you. Either that, or she’d unintentionally list things she deems unacceptable that actually occurred on Obama’s watch. Behar named Ocasio-Cortez as a potential running mate for 2020 presidential hopeful Joe Biden. There’s just one major problem. And Joy had no idea. VIDEO: https://twitter.com/johnrobertgage/status/1235600065789648897?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1235600065789648897&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitchy.com%2Fbrettt-3136%2F2020%2F03%2F05%2Fjoy-behar-recommends-that-joe-biden-pick-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-as-his-vp-never-mind-her-age%2F REACTIONS: AOC wants illegals to receive coronavirus relief checks. LOOK: https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1243219664450314240 https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1243220827249741824 H/T: Twitchy

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