By Robert Popovian & Wayne Winegarden
March 1, 2021
President Joe Biden should take advantage of a bipartisan opportunity to meaningfully reduce patients’ out-of-pocket spending on biopharmaceuticals. Seizing this opportunity requires the president to recognize that the drug cost problem exists because the current system inappropriately shifts too much of its expenditures to patients.
Consider that hospitals’ total expenditure in 2019 was $1.2 trillion, or three times the total of the spend on pharmaceuticals. However, patients’ out-of-pocket spending on drugs in 2019 was $54 billion, or 50 percent higher than their out-of-pocket spending for hospital care.
Here are five policy solutions that the administration ought to pursue to lift this unfair burden on patients: