Richard G. Stefanacci, DO, MGH, MBA, AGSF, CMD
The Access Group, Chief Medical Officer
There is one story as to why the American Health Care Act (AHCA) did not get through Congress but while there is only one story there are two very different meanings. The story goes that the AHCA would have resulted in 24M Americans losing health insurance while producing very little savings – about $700 per person per year. One translation – Americans would be better off with ObamaCare and therefore there was not enough support for the bill. The other translation, the correct one, is that the Freedom Caucus (a group of conservative Republican members of the US House of Representatives) felt that AHCA was ObamaCare light, not going far enough in repealing the federal government’s subsidies and control of health care and would not vote in favor. It was this point that killed AHCA – it wasn’t a complete repeal of ObamaCare.
So, while pharma may be celebrating the fact that many more Americans will have access to their products this may be a short-lived celebration like that of the Mets in the 1970s. The reason is that the Trump health care team is focusing in on a new target that they can easily hit – one with universal appeal or rather displeasure that all sides would be more than happy to hit. Firmly in the middle of this bull’s eye is big pharma. As such, we should prepare our clients for the wave of regulations and legislative actions that aim to reduce pharmaceutical pricing through everything from reimportation, price controls, increasing competition and of course the bully pulpit. Success from this chaos will be those pharmaceutical companies that are able to articulate their value in terms that matter to payers, providers, patients and of course the Trump healthcare leadership.
Lots of opportunities…