Public Policies to Ensure Access to Affordable Medicines

The challenge: how do we address rising healthcare costs without compromising patient access and quality of care?

McKesson shares the goal of addressing rising healthcare costs for Americans. We are committed to bolstering community providers, which are often the lower cost, preferred setting of care for patients. We are committed to supporting safety net providers and recognize the critical role they play in our healthcare ecosystem.

We continue to invest in provider and patient tools to drive cost transparency and enable data-driven, shared decision-making between providers and patients. We recognize the need to improve efficiency in our health care system while reducing patient financial toxicity, but we believe that proposals must not jeopardize patient access and risk further erosion of community and safety net providers for short term savings.

We share the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) interest in testing new and innovative payment models to improve competition and patient care, while reducing costs. However, the proposed International Pricing Index (IPI) model, including the Competitive Acquisition Program (CAP) will disrupt patient access to necessary drugs.

The model will also create significant burdens for physicians, wholesalers and distributors. The model reduces costs for less than 1% of Medicare beneficiaries while tying prices in the U.S. to entirely different foreign reference markets.

Lowering costs through access to information

We believe that patients need to understand their out-of-pocket costs for medicines and be made aware if lower-cost options are available. Patients should have access to technology like real-time benefit tools (RTBTs) to give them a complete picture of their healthcare options. We support CMS’ proposal to require Medicare Part D plans to offer RTBTs to patients.

These tools can empower providers and patients to make cost-effective decisions that reduce prescription abandonment, improve adherence and ultimately improve healthcare outcomes.

Leveraging 340B drug discounts for vulnerable patients

At McKesson, we recognize the vital role the 340B drug discount program plays in helping healthcare providers stretch scarce federal resources to service patients in need. We understand the need for increased transparency and accountability to ensure the 340B program benefits patients.

We recommend a thoughtful and inclusive approach to 340B program reforms to ensure that changes do not disrupt care and services for vulnerable patients.