NCPA Study: Obamacare Will Increase Drug Costs

Thursday, 07 Mar 2013 03:54 PM

By Dan Weil

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While the Affordable Care Act has increased prescription drug coverage, the result is a plethora of regulations that will make medicines more expensive, according to a study from the conservative National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) think tank.

The regulations curb competition, the study argues.

“Drug coverage is expanding rapidly and heightened regulatory scrutiny will prevent drug plan managers from holding down costs for consumers with programs such as creating exclusive networks and encouraging mail-order prescriptions,” Devon Herrick, a senior fellow at NCPA, said in a press release.

Rules governing the structure of pharmacy networks and price formulas for drugs are onerous for the drug industry, according to the report.

It says that regulations barring drug plans from offering lower co-payments for mail-order service will push up costs for consumers, even though it may aid community pharmacies.

“The goal of policymakers should be to allow competitive bidding among drug-plan stakeholders in an environment free of perverse regulations that unduly advantage one party over another,” the report says.

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