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White House advisers cite USC research as basis for potential drug price reforms | USC News

White House advisory council has issued several recommendations for reining in U.S. prescription drug prices and costs, some of which stem directly from the work of the USC Leonard Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics.

Voters are increasingly concerned about rising drug prices and health care costs — to the point that two presidential candidates in the 2016 election, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, campaigned on promises of reform.

Posted on the White House website Feb. 9, the Council of Economic Advisers’ report, “Reforming Biopharmaceutical Pricing at Home and Abroad,” recommends solutions for significant problems within the pharmaceutical market and health care system, both internationally and in the United States, that contribute to the rise in drug prices.

The council, comprised of 14 of the nation’s top economists advising the president, cites more than 40 peer-reviewed articles and white papers by leading U.S. health policy researchers and analysts. Three papers authored by Dana Goldman, Darius Lakdawalla and Neeraj Sood of the USC Schaeffer Center are prominently cited in this White House report.

For Schaeffer Center researchers, the report is the latest evidence that their work is informing discussions about health care policy at the highest levels of government.


“The Schaeffer Center has done a good job of taking faculty research and translating it for policymakers, and then making sure the right people see it,” said Goldman, director of the Schaeffer Center and a distinguished professor at the USC Price School of Public Policy and USC School of Pharmacy.

The council report cites Schaeffer Center research that has examined significant disparities in pharmaceutical prices and drug innovation between other nations vs. the United States, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement policies and practices that contribute to high prices, and a lack of transparency in the flow of money through the pharmaceutical system.

Value vs. price
The Council of Economic Advisers, which has existed since 1946, is charged with providing objective economic advice to the president that affects national and international policy. Its latest report may or may not result in significant reforms that lower drug prices in the coming months, but it marks a starting point for a national discussion about improving patients’ access to effective drugs and reducing costs.

Policymakers will consider the impact of reforms over the long term that can accomplish two goals: save the health system money and improve patient outcomes, according to the council report.

Goldman said there are some great examples of drugs that initially were expensive but that delivered great results and eventually decreased in price. In the 1990s, for instance, antiretroviral drug treatment for HIV cost about $15,000 for one patient.

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White House advisers cite USC research as basis for potential drug price reforms – USC News.

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