If we want to really address drug prices, and the healthcare industry more broadly, we must look underneath the many legislative layers we’ve already amassed over the years and look at fixing the fundamental issues that lie beneath. The problems are shared and come back to three things: transparency, accountability and competition.These elements aren’t central tenets of the business models utilized by most healthcare organizations, and for so long, these organizations have been able to simply touch on, ignore or altogether work around these principles without push-back because consumers weren’t feeling the impact.

Today, consumers are walking up to the pharmacy counter and are being asked to pay hundreds of rupees out of pocket even after insurance kicks in. They’re seeing ever-increasing deductibles from their employer-provided health plans, and it’s incredibly common for them to have to pay a co-pay or – an issue that’s getting substantial media coverage – a surprise balance bill from their insurance carrier. Consumers who are able to see how much certain drugs, procedures, or even providers cost, along with how effective they are, can then shop around to find the highest-quality drugs/care at the lowest cost. Accountability comes in once information on costs and quality are readily available. If consumers can see a drug’s success rate or a physician’s track record of providing positive patient outcomes, those manufacturers and providers that have it backwards – delivering low quality at high costs ­– will have to improve or risk losing business. Pharma Industry

The issues we have with the pharma industry are the same issues we have with the rest of the healthcare system. And as such, the solution is also the same. It’s not just another layer of legislation. It’s foundational change that moves to a market-based model.