The cost of prescription drugs is a big issue in providing healthcare in America.
"The chief medical officer, Steve Miller, at Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefit manager in the U.S., has been essentially auctioning off his 80 million customers to the drug companies that will give him the best deal.
Express Scripts and its rivals including CVS/Caremark and OptumRX manage prescription drug coverage for insurers and employers. They're trying to spark price wars among drug makers by refusing to pay for some brand-name medications unless they get a big discount.
The result is that average costs for many drugs are falling. At the same time, consumers are being forced to change medications, sometimes to brands that do not work as well for them."
This year more than half of all patients will have a prescription excluded from coverage.
"Express Scripts pioneered a strategy two years ago, when it announced it would no longer pay for 48 brand-name drugs. Right out of the gate it took on some big-name products, such as Advair - the blockbuster asthma drug made by GlaxoSmithKline, now known as GSK."
"Advair's price had risen more than 20 percent in 2013... Then on Jan. 1, 2014, Express Scripts tossed Advair off its drug list and moved its customers to rival asthma drug. Symbicort."
"The results were immediate. Sales of Advair dropped $1.8 billion that year. The prices of both Advair and Symbicort fell 20 percent in 2014 and are still falling. Advair was restored to Express Scripts' formulary last year."
What would you suggest is the best way to bring the cost of prescription drugs down?