The Affordable Care Act may not have much effect on the prescription drug prices private purchasers pay, according to Congressional Budget Office (CBO) Director Douglas Elmendorf.
Elmendorf comes to that conclusion in a letter he sent to Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Ill., the most senior Republican on the House Budget Committee.
Ryan asked the CBO to describe the possible effects of some provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, the components of the Affordable Care Act package.
Provisions in the act will require manufacturers of brand-name drugs to provide new discounts and rebates for drugs purchased through Medicare and Medicaid. The amounts of the discounts and rebates will be based on the prices of the drugs.
“Manufacturers thus have an incentive to raise those prices to offset the costs of providing the new discounts and rebates, although other forces will limit their ability to do so,” Elmendorf says.
For drugs covered by Medicare, the Affordable Care Act could raise prices paid by pharmacies by about 1%, Elmendorf estimates.
For new drugs bought through Medicaid, the changes could increase prices paid by pharmacies by 4%, Elmendorf says.
“For people covered by employment-based health plans, CBO expected that net prices would probably not increase because those plans would be able