National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Kicks Off High-Priced Drug Committee

December 22, 2016

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has assembled an ad hoc committee to address patient access to affordable drugs. The Milbank Memorial Fund is one of the sponsors of the committee’s work.

The committee will issue a report to address issues such as trends in drug pricing, improved patient access to effective treatments, and innovations that address the needs of patients. Initial meetings of the committee held in November and December addressed topics such as drug pricing, inflation in the cost of drugs, and insurance design.

This is a persistent issue for state policymakers. The Reforming States Group’s  Letter to the New Administration identified it as one of ten policy areas for work with the federal government. The Fund’s partner, the Center for Evidence-based Policy, is working on a project—SMART-D, the State Medicaid Alternative Reimbursement and Purchasing Test for High-Cost Drugs—to improve state Medicaid programs’ ability to pursue alternative payment models for high-priced drugs.

Christopher F. Koller, president of the Fund, spoke at the committee’s initial meeting in November and Susan Stuard, project director of SMART-D, summarized the project’s findings in the December meeting.

“The work of the committee is in keeping with the work of the Fund,” said Koller. “We believe that efforts such as the National Academies’ ad hoc committee will enable states and the federal government to move forward on this complex issue.”