Clinton plan would rein in pharmaceutical profiteering, marketing

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Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton said this week that she would target excessive profiteering and marketing costs in the pharmaceuticals industry by encouraging innovation and new treatments from drug companies, if she were elected.

Highlights of Clinton's plan include:

--Stopping direct-to-consumer drug-company advertising subsidies and reinvesting funds in research.

Nearly every country in the industrialized world imposes strict limits on or completely bans direct-to-consumer advertising by drug companies.

--Require drug companies that benefit from taxpayers’ support to invest in research, not marketing or profits.

Clinton's position is that drug companies should not be allowed to reap excessive profits or spend unreasonable amounts of money on marketing if they want to receive aid for life-saving and health-improving treatments.

--Cap monthly and annual out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs, saving patients with chronic or serious health conditions hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Following the blueprint of states such as California and Maine, Clinton would require health insurance plans to place a monthly limit of $250 on covered out-of-pocket prescription-drug costs for individuals, providing financial relief for patients with chronic or serious health conditions.

--Clear out the FDA's generic backlog.

Clinton’s plan would fully fund the FDA’s Office of Generic Drugs to clear out its multi-year generic-drug approval backlog.

--Increase competition for specialty drugs, including new “biologic” drugs, which are often the most expensive new treatments.

Specialty drugs have provided new treatments for people suffering from chronic illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis and cancer. Often, these drugs are the only ones on the market and may have no competition to keep prices from skyrocketing.

--Prohibit “pay for delay” arrangements that keep generic versions of drugs off the market.

--Ensure consumers are getting value for their drugs.

Clinton's stance is that Americans should not pay high prices for drugs that do not improve on available treatments.

Additionally, Clinton's plan would leverage America’s strong bargaining power to facilitate higher rebates and lower costs from drug companies; demand higher rebates for prescription drugs in Medicare; contain the cost of prescription drugs for low-income individuals, people with disabilities and seniors; and require drug manufacturers to provide rebates for low-income Medicare enrollees that are equal to rebates in the Medicaid program.
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