Dr. Gerard Anderson, professor in the department of health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has received a 30-month grant of $850,528 from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Dr. Anderson and his team are working on a project aimed at lowering drug prices by giving companies more of a say in which prescription drugs appear on the formulary, or list, from which self-insured companies purchase drugs.
Currently, drug companies that sell brand drugs are able to get better placement on these formularies by paying a rebate to pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Dr. Anderson and his team are working with the Pacific Business Group on Health to help large companies create formularies that eliminate the rebates. (Pacific Business Group on Health represents many large U.S. companies.) The objective is to help large companies decide which brand drugs might be replaced by generic drugs on the formulary. Brand drugs are more expensive, and favorable positions on a formulary often mean companies and patients end up paying more because they chose a brand drug over a generic one.
The grant also covers developing a comparable Medicare program.
Dr. Anderson’s research focuses on health care pricing. He currently has projects focused on lowering drug prices and helping private insurers obtain better rates with hospitals and physicians.
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