An unusual name appeared in this week’s issue of leading medical journal JAMA.
Barack Obama, JD, (Author affiliation: President of the United States, Washington, DC).
Obama wrote his thoughts about where to take the Affordable Care Act, calling it the “most important health care legislation enacted in the United States since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.” These included suggestions to increase federal assistance to the programs, help boost competition in areas that didn’t have enough, and a plan to tackle pharmaceutical drug costs.
Along the way, he managed to call out drug companies. He wrote (emphasis ours):
“We worked successfully with some health care organisations and groups, such as major hospital associations, to redirect excessive Medicare payments to federal subsidies for the uninsured. Yet others, like the pharmaceutical industry, oppose any change to drug pricing, no matter how justifiable and modest, because they believe it threatens their profits. We need to continue to tackle special interest dollars in politics. But we also need to reinforce the sense of mission in health care that brought us an affordable polio vaccine and widely available penicillin.”
“In addition to administrative actions like testing new ways to pay for drugs, legislative action is needed. Congress should act on proposals like those included in my fiscal year 2017 budget to increase transparency around manufacturers’ actual production and development costs, to increase the rebates manufacturers are required to pay for drugs prescribed to certain Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and to give the federal government the authority to negotiate prices for certain high-priced drugs.”
Obama may only have a few months left in office, but these rather hostile impressions could put some major pressure on the pharmaceutical industry, which has been fielding political heat since last September.
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