The Center for Evidence-based Policy Receives $1.6 Million Grant to Address the Rising Cost of Pharmaceutical Drugs

March 23, 2016

The Center for Evidence-based Policy at Oregon Health and Science University has received $1.6 million from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) in Houston, Texas, as part of a series of grants that address the rising cost of pharmaceutical drugs. The Center is a strategic partner of the Milbank Memorial Fund (MMF); the two organizations collaborate on promoting the development of evidence-informed health policymaking capacity in states.

The Center’s grant will support a 15-month project that includes two phases. First, researchers will analyze the prescription drug development pipeline, the federal and state regulations that govern Medicaid drug purchasing, and best practices for alternative purchasing models. In the second phase, the Center will work with participating states to design a set of pilot programs. These programs will test the feasibility and effectiveness of alternative purchasing models that tie Medicaid reimbursement to improved patient health and seek to support sustainable state Medicaid budgets.

“We’re excited to receive this grant from LJAF,” says Pam Curtis, Director of the Center. “Increased drug costs are taking a significant toll on state budgets. We see states reallocating resources for high-cost drugs and that results in a squeeze in some other parts of Medicaid. This project will identify options for states to purchase or manage high cost drugs more effectively.”

The project builds on work the Center does with Medicaid medical directors and pharmacy directors. The MMF will convene a national panel to advise the Center on the project, provide strategic planning support, and help disseminate the findings. The other LJAF grant recipients are Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Evidence Driven Drug Pricing Project, Brigham & Women’s Hospital’s Program on Regulation, Therapeutics, and Law, and the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine.