AARP to launch drug pricing ad campaign

IN SUMMARY: Nearly three-quarters of Americans over 50 worry about being able to afford prescription drugs for themselves and their families, according to a new AARP nationwide survey. AARP’s campaign will include television ads, a strong social and digital media presence, and grassroots efforts via mail, email, and phone by AARP’s 38 million members, in order to convince lawmakers to act on drug pricing.

Among all respondents of an AARP survey, 72 percent said they were very or somewhat concerned about being able to afford the drugs they need for themselves or their families. And 90 percent or more of likely Democratic, Republican and independent voters said it should be easier for generic drugs to come to market and that Medicare should be allowed to negotiate with drug companies for lower prices.

The winds of change are blowing

PhRMA and drug companies have been fighting a losing battle of perceptions. The key question that the survey should have asked is “are you having problems paying for your prescription medications?”.

Drug company CEO’s should be putting together a strategic plan that includes Medicare negotiating drug prices and a limit of drug prices themselves.

Obviously, the AARP plan ignored PBM’s in this equation but then PBM’s are doing a great job of staying under the radar in the drug pricing battle.

As more and more pharma companies merge the challenge is going to be to make new organizations lean and more responsive. Right now drug companies move at a snail’s pace but that has to change. Matrix management, within pharma, is slowing down decision making and CEO’s seem to be focusing more on Wall Street and pipelines than their ability to compete in the new age of changing healthcare.

Almost nowhere in the convoluted process of healthcare does the U.S. do much to control health care prices which is obviously a big reason our system is so expensive. We also don’t use the power of government to break up monopolies or ensure that the market for things like hospital care is actually competitive.

Change is coming is pharma ready?