Date: October 16, 2015
John Bennett, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan,
Albany, New York
Patricia R. Richards, President and Chief Executive Officer, SelectHealth, Murray, Utah
Susan Dentzer, Senior Policy Adviser,
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Moderator)
On Friday, October 16, the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) facilitated an interactive conversation about high-cost drugs. Two health plan CEOs – John Bennett, M.D., from Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan in Albany, New York, and Patricia Richards from SelectHealth in Salt Lake City, Utah – shared their thoughts on how high drug prices affect both insurers and the overall health care system. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Susan Dentzer moderated the discussion, which included an interactive Q&A. Some points raised during this discussion include:
- The cost of drugs – from specialty to brand-name to generic – is increasing at an unprecedented and unsustainable rate and everyone bears the effects.
- Health plans have the difficult challenge of supporting new and needed remedies and making sure costs do not interfere with patient access.
- Prices are too high for patients, government purchasers, employers and insurers to pay without making difficult tradeoffs.
- No single factor will fix the problem; we must address policy issues, regulatory oversight and competitive market forces in any long-term solution.