By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
The Biden-Harris Administration has unveiled a comprehensive plan to reduce prescription drug costs, promote competition, and ensure accessible, affordable healthcare for all Americans. Addressing longstanding concerns about corporate interests influencing healthcare, the administration announced that it’s cracking down on price gouging by Big Pharma. “As part of the Bidenomics agenda, efforts are underway to curb special interests and lower costs, emphasizing access to vital medications,” the White House said in a fact sheet following a call with various media outlets, including the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). The NNPA is the trade association of over 230 African-American-owned newspapers and media companies — The Black Press of America.
The administration unveiled a proposed framework for agencies to exercise march-in rights on taxpayer-funded drugs and inventions. According to the White House, this framework highlights the role of pricing considerations in determining accessibility to the public, asserting that taxpayer-funded medications should be reasonably priced and readily available. Recognizing the dominance of a few major pharmaceutical companies controlling industry revenues, the administration said it’s tackling limited competition in the healthcare sector. Recent research from the Department of Health and Human Services indicates that a lack of competition in drug markets is linked to higher prices, affecting nearly three in ten individuals struggling with medication costs.
In response to concerns about consolidation in healthcare markets leading to increased costs and reduced quality, the administration is launching a public inquiry into corporate greed in healthcare. Officials said President Biden’s goal is to prioritize patient well-being over corporate profits and scrutinize how the financialization of the healthcare system impacts Americans. Further, the administration is implementing increased ownership transparency for healthcare providers and enhanced transparency in Medicare Advantage programs. Additionally, officials said data-sharing initiatives will help identify potentially anticompetitive transactions. “These initiatives align with President Biden’s commitment to reshaping the healthcare landscape, ensuring fair competition, and making healthcare accessible and affordable for all Americans,” officials asserted.