Benchmark Assignment: Population Health Policy Analysis Essay
Benchmark Assignment: Population Health Policy Analysis Essay
Drug spending in America increased by more than 12% in 2014 and ever since this year, the cost of prescription medications has continued to rise. The exorbitant prescription drug pricing in the country has become a major concern to policymakers, payers, prescribers and most importantly, the patients (Feldman, 2019). Despite a review of the origins and the cause of high drug prices in the United States of America, policy options have not contained the continued rise in this essential component of care. Nonetheless, even with tough rhetoric and criticism by President Donald Trump, the cost of prescription drugs continue to soar. Due to public sentiments about the unclear rise in prescription drug prices, lawmakers in the country proposed the Prescription Drug Pricing Policy in 2017 to institute deliberate changes to ensure that medications are affordable (Graber, 2017). However, political parties in America have not yet been aligned to respond to the drug pricing reforms which have attracted bipartisan interests at the expense of the citizens. Efforts have been made to amend the drug pricing in America.
The subsequent study delves into an elaborate discussion of the proposed Prescription Drug Policy of 2017. A description of how the policy relates to other health policies in the United States of America will be made. The benefit of the policy in improving access to care for African Americans with diabetes will also be explored. Finally, the Christian perspective, as well as a professional and moral obligation of advanced registered nurse in advocating for the promotion of the policy will also be discussed.
Prescription Drug Pricing Policy of 2017
Medication pricing is one of the legislative lineups for the American health reforms as politicians aim to make amendments to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The per capita expenditure in prescription drug in the United States of America is very high and by far exceeds all other countries of the world (Marzilli Ericson, 2014). Due to this, attention has been drawn across the media and political spectrum for a need to restructure the competitive drug pricing practices which have led to a high cost of care (Ho, Hogan & Scott Morton, 2017). In May 2017, the legislation that led to the formulation of the Prescription Drug Pricing Policy was introduced by Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) (Feldman, 2019). The enactment proposed aimed to address price gouging in a strategy that would require drug manufacturers to report any significant increases in price for certain drugs to the Department of Health and Human Services. This enactment applies to any prescription medication with a retail price of at least $100 per month (Graber, 2017). According to the Prescription Drug Pricing Policy, the cost of a drug should not increase by 10% or more within a period of one year. Nonetheless, the legislation requires that prescription medication prices not to exceed 25% or more of the total cost of the drug for a period of 36 months. Prescription drug manufacturers who violate these provisions by failing to report price changes would face a civil penalty. The proposed legislation is consistent with the requirement of Medicaid Drug Debate Program which guarantees providing insurance coverage to manufacturer’s drugs that receive lowest net prices (Heiss et al., 2013). The proposed policy is also in line with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Reauthorization Act of 2017 which advocates for the increase in the generic drug competition (Feldman, 2019). Through this approach, the generic and biosimilar prescription drugs will be availed in the American market to counter the irregular drug price hikes.
The proposed policy aims to address prescription medication barrier faced by the minority communities in the United States of America. Specifically, the policy, if passed, will help the African Americans diagnosed with diabetes to afford the drugs required to
manage the condition. It is apparent that the costs of medication cause a significant burden on the financial reserves of black-Americans with diabetes. The policy requires Medicare to lobby for lower drug prices charged by manufacturers. With this, Medicare will provide cover to prescription drugs required by African Americans for diabetes management to cap the out-of-pocket expenditures among the population group (Dafny, Gruber & Ody, 2015). Besides, the proposed enactment promotes transparency in drug pricing to support care for minorities in the United States of America. The policy is financially sound and requires manufacturers to comply with the regulations.
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The policy account for ethical and legal factors which advocates for equal access to healthcare. Affordable care is one of the moral issues that influence the political framework of a country. In American for instance, political debates often focus on how to lower the ever-increasing cost of care (Schoonveld, 2016). Once enacted, the policy will solve the social challenge of inadequate and inequality in the delivery of care services due to cost factors.
The Prescription Drug Pricing Policy is not a standalone proposed enactment. Vermont enacted the policy in June 6, 2016, and Nevada repealed their health law on June 15, 2017, which established provisions to contain prescription drug prices (Feldman, 2019). According to these states, the policy aims to lower the drug prices by ensuring that the latter do not exceed the medical consumer price index within the past 12 months. The policy also advocates for transparency in pricing by the pharmaceutical industry as a remedy to exploitation of consumers (Mintzes et al., 2013). By reporting the additional information to justify a price increase, pharmaceutical retailers ensure that consumers receive quality on the extra cost for the drugs they purchase.
Advocacy Strategy for the Policy
The minority communities and particularly African Americans with diabetes are the main targets for this proposed policy. In the event that the policy is enacted into law, then black-Americans will be encouraged to enroll in the Medicaid program (Handel & Kolstad, 2015). The latter ensures that third-party payers offer reimbursement for African Americans who use their financial resources to pay for diabetes drugs. This ensures that the burden of care is reduced for the population group. The other advocacy strategy will be to report those drug manufacturers charging exorbitant prices to the Joint Commission and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (Kesselheim, Avorn & Sarpatwari, 2016). This ensures that consumers are not exploited as they seek care. However, from a Christian and moral perspective, a registered nurse should advocate for the distinction between generic and brand name medication (Graber, 2017). This ensures that patients are not duped in pricing due to paying for medications not administered. A registered nurse should also advocate for equality in care by addressing implicit racial bias in medication prescribing practice that might affect access to quality care.
Prescription Drug Pricing is one of the landmark policies that will guarantee equitable and affordable care to the American populations. The policy advocates for regulations in drug pricing to ensure that consumers are not exploited. However, despite its benefits, the policy still remains a manuscript that is yet to be enacted. It is an appeal to the Trump administration to amend the proposed legislation so as to guarantee quality to African Americans with diabetes.
Select a current or proposed health care policy that is designed to improve a specific population’s access to quality, cost-effective health care. In a paper of 1,000-1,250 words, include the following:
Explain the policy and how it is designed to improve cost-effectiveness and health care equity for the population. Is the policy financially sound? Why or why not? How does the policy account for any relevant ethical, legal, and political factors and the nursing perceptive one must consider when implementing it?
To what state, federal, global health policies or goals is this particular policy related? How well do you think the policy is designed to achieve those goals?
Finally, discuss the advocacy strategies you would employ on behalf of your population to ensure they have access to the benefits of the policy. Explain, from a Christian perspective, the professional and moral obligation of advanced registered nurse to advocate for and promote health and prevent disease among diverse populations.
You are required to cite five to 10 sources to complete this assignment. Sources must be published within the last 5 years and appropriate for the assignment criteria and nursing content.
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