Patient Cost-Sharing for Prescription Drugs: Policy Issues

Prescription drug costs continue to grow in the U.S. due to both price hikes for existing drugs and the development of expensive new therapies. In Medicare, these costs now account for $1 out of every $6 in spending. As costs grow, particularly for specialty drugs and novel therapies, patients can face high cost-sharing burdens, and the Medicare benefit places no limit on a patient’s out-of-pocket spending for prescription drugs. Moreover, while increased rebates have often mitigated the growth in net drug prices, many patients still pay cost-sharing based on a percentage of the gross (pre-rebate) drug price.

On Friday, February 16, the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy will host a conference on the policy issues surrounding patient drug cost sharing. Two panels will convene, first to discuss restructuring the Medicare Part D benefit design, and then to debate the effectiveness of mechanisms to reduce cost sharing for commercially insured patients.

Join the conversation on Twitter at #RxCostSharing


Event Date
Friday, February 16, 2018
9:00 AM - 11:00 AM Eastern
The Brookings Institution
Falk Auditorium
1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036


9:00 AM   Welcome and Overview

  • Paul Ginsburg, Director, USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy

9:05 AM   Panel 1: Revamping the Medicare Part D Benefit Design
Should Medicare Beneficiaries' Out-of-Pocket Expenditures be Capped?

  • Paul Ginsburg (Moderator), Director, USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy
  • Erin Trish, Associate Director of Health Policy, USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics
  • Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President, American Action Forum
  • Elizabeth Jurinka, Chief Health Advisor (D), U.S. Senate Committee on Finance
  • Nicholas Uehlecke, Professional Staff Member (R), U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Health

10:00 AM  Panel 2: Mechanisms to Reduce Cost Sharing for Commercially-Insured Patients

  • Margot Sanger-Katz (Moderator), New York Times
  • Geoff Joyce, Director of Health Policy, USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics
  • Fiona Scott Morton, Theodore Nierenberg Professor of Economics, Yale University School of Management
  • Adam Fein, President, Pembroke Consulting, Inc., CEO, Drug Channels Institute
  • Elizabeth Fowler, Vice President, Global Health Policy, Johnson & Johnson
  • Steven Miller, Chief Medical Officer, Express Scripts

11:00 AM  Adjourn