Generating and Disseminating Evidence on the Problems and Drivers of High Prescription Drug Pricing


Despite an intense focus on Affordable Care Act repeal-and-replace efforts, rising prescription drug prices have remained on the radar of the public and many policymakers over the last seven months. Because drug pricing and drug distribution systems in the United States are so complex, effective action on this issue will require sustained efforts to educate policymakers and the public. Under a Commonwealth Fund grant, Waxman Strategies crafted a foundational report, published in July 2017, on the problems and drivers of high prescription drug prices and feasible policy solutions. The grant was extended to support the report's dissemination and provide members of Congress with guidance on policy development. This project will focus on the experiences of patients affected by high drug prices. Waxman Strategies will conduct five activities:

  1. Develop a set of four to five patient profiles in partnership with Patients for Affordable Drugs, an independent consumer advocacy group. The stories, intended for Fund publication, will connect the problems and drivers of high drug prices with patients and their access to needed prescription medications.
  2. Participate in an event at the 2018 Aspen Spotlight Health Conference that highlights the previously published report and the new patient profiles.
  3. Develop two issue briefs on key drivers of high pharmaceutical prices.
  4. Continue to disseminate the July report and provide additional information on drug policy to policymakers, stakeholders, and the media.
  5. Create and update a calendar that allows the Fund and its grantees to identify and track emerging policy questions and issues regarding prescription drug pricing. The calendar, along with regularly scheduled calls with Fund program staff, will help guide Fund publications and communications strategy in this area.

The new body of evidence this project develops will broaden and deepen understanding of the impact that high prescription drug prices are having on U.S. consumers. The project will also help ensure the relevance and timeliness of Fund research and analysis on this topic. The target audience is congressional staff, policymakers, and journalists.

Grant Details

Grantee Organization:
Waxman Consulting, Inc.
Principal Investigator:
William Corr, J.D., and Henry Waxman, J.D.
Award Amount:
Approval Date:
November 14, 2017

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