States Can and Should Disrupt Healthcare

Posted: December 5, 2017

Democratic governors gathered this week in New Orleans, where I was invited to participate in a panel discussion regarding the U.S. healthcare system and its future.

I took the opportunity to share some remarkable statistics about the generic pharmaceuticals industry and Mylan’s role within it. For example, did you know that generics now fill 90% of all prescriptions dispensed in the nation but account for only 27% of drug-spending costs? That means brands fill the remaining 10% of all prescriptions yet make up 73% of drug spending.

Mylan has made providing access to medicine our mission, and today we fill one out of every 13 prescriptions dispensed in the U.S. That means we’re probably in your medicine cabinet right now. As important, we continue to invest to bring complex products to market. Great examples include our recently launched first generic to Copaxone 40 mg and the recent approval by the Food and Drug Administration of our biosimilar for Herceptin, the first approved in the U.S.

As proud as I am of the work Mylan does every day, I recognize it’s not enough until patients walking up to the pharmacy counter benefit directly from the savings we provide. Too often, under high-deductible plans, patients pay full list price for brands as well as for generics and do not receive the benefits of discounts negotiated among manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers and payors.

This country continues to shift cost burdens to consumers without also shifting to them discounts received by businesses. It is this very disconnect that’s fueling much-needed discussion and debate and that makes forums like the Democratic Governors Association meeting so very worthwhile.

States and industry can and should share best practices. So, I took the opportunity to encourage the governors to be disruptive and challenge the status quo. For example, I questioned why we cover patients with only an annual insurance cycle versus creating longer-term incentives through cycles that last longer.

I also raised the idea that insured patients should receive the benefit of negotiated rates on their pharmaceuticals at the pharmacy counter – and from the first dollar spent in their health plan, not just after meeting their deductible.

I am committed to continue to meet with legislators from both sides of the aisle to deliver better health for a better world.