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[CNN] Senate Drug Price Bill is Limited to Medicare: Here’s What it Means for Those with Private Insurance

CNN recently published an article on the Inflation Reduction Act, which would empower the government to bring down prices on pharmaceutical drugs, featuring Rena Conti, Associate Professor of Markets, Public Policy, & Law.

Rena Conti

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August 9, 2022

CNN recently published an article on the Inflation Reduction Act, which would empower the government to bring down prices on pharmaceutical drugs, featuring Rena Conti, Associate Professor of Markets, Public Policy, & Law.

Earlier versions of the bill initially set out to encompass both Medicare and private insurance, but the Senate parliamentarian decided that extending group negotiating power to private insurance pools didn’t align with reconciliation rules. With this decision, many health experts fear that drug makers will turn to these private markets to make up for their losses, a practice known as cost-shifting. Rena, however, argues that, “The inflation cap and Medicare’s ability to negotiate the prices of certain drugs, another one of the bill’s provisions, would make the prices Medicare pays more transparent.”

Rena also describes this idea of cost-shifting, and how the bill could negatively affect children and adults with expensive medications with little competition, as companies may try to raise these costs.

Rena M. Conti is an Associate Professor at the Boston University Questrom School of Business. From 2006 through June 2018, Professor Conti was an Associate Professor of Health Economics and Policy at the University of Chicago Medical School and the Harris School of Public Policy. She is a health economist and her research focuses on the organization, financing and regulation of medical care. She has written extensively on the pricing, demand and supply of prescription drugs.

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