Cut Inflation Act won’t ‘fix American healthcare’: GoodRx CEO


The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which currently sits on President Joe Biden’s desk, will soon mark a milestone in the battle to bring down the price of drugs in the United States, although it is still far from a generalized cost control for the entire population.

GoodRx (GDRX) co-CEO Doug Hirsch, whose company aims to find the best prices for generics as well as some brand name drugs, says that’s why his company isn’t under threat in the immediately by the IRA.

“Unfortunately, this isn’t going to fix American healthcare or impact our business,” Hirsch told Yahoo Finance in a recent interview.

“It would have been nice if they did more. But for now, that’s the way it is,” he added.

Hirsch has never shied away from the idea that his company could be turned upside down by a shift to a more equitable and efficient health care system, but he and others — including Mark Cuban with Cost Drugs Plus — know their services are always in high demand.

It’s also why GoodRx paid $150 million to acquire VitaCare and its prescription services — to help streamline the process from prescription to removal.

Hirsch said while most blame the drugmakers for the high costs, it’s more of a numbers game than anything. In some cases, a manufacturer will have a list price of thousands, but the actual cost at the pharmacy ends up being affordable, he said.

There are of course outliers, but because of the way medicines are distributed, prioritized and paid for by pharmacy benefit managers and insurers, as well as the relationships and networks created across the various actors, it is difficult for patients to know what their treatment will ultimately bring. costs without doing some homework.

“The problem is it’s such a mess because of this crazy system we have that nobody knows about it,” Hirsch said.

“It’s just the quirkiness of American health care,” he added.

That’s why the Cut Inflation Act was seen by proponents as the tip of the iceberg to help reduce drug spending.

Under the Reducing Inflation Act, fewer than a dozen of the most expensive drugs will enter negotiations with Medicare — beginning in 2026 — and out-of-pocket Medicare costs are capped at $2,000 . This means that 63 million Medicare members will benefit from these measures – but the rest of the more than 330 million in the United States will continue to struggle.

The bill was originally intended to cap a drug’s price increase as a ratio of inflation, but it did not pass the Senate.

The bill passed the House late last week and is awaiting Biden’s signature.

Follow Anjalee on Twitter @AnjKhem

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