Price transparency critical to addressing prescription drug costs

Published May 31, 2019

Based on data analysis from Blue Cross Blue Shield Axis® (BCBS Axis)—the largest collection of secure commercial insurance claims, medical professional and cost of care information— researchers at Scripps Translational Science Institute (Scripps) found that prescription drug prices on the 49 top-selling brand name drugs have increased by a median of 76% from 2012 to 2017. In a study that appears in the latest issue of JAMA Network Open, Scripps concluded that given this trend, greater transparency in prescription drug pricing is warranted. 

Scripps is a member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Alliance for Health Research (BCBS Alliance), along with eight other leading U.S. institutions. “Accountability and transparency are essential to developing a better understanding of rising pharmacy costs,” said Maureen Sullivan, chief strategy and innovation officer for BCBSA. “We developed the BCBS Alliance to engage researchers in collaborative efforts to explore critical healthcare issues and enable valuable insights that can benefit consumers and the medical community.” This study is the third peer-reviewed article from BCBS Alliance members to use BCBS Axis data: Harvard and Yale researchers have also published studies this year. 

About the BCBS Alliance
The BCBS Alliance was established in 2016 to engage leading U.S. health care researchers to explore and discuss critical health and health system issues, helping advance improvements in health care nationwide. These researchers have access to the BCBS AxisSM, the industry’s largest resource for healthcare claims, provider and cost data. Participants in the BCBS Alliance include: Harvard University, Princeton University, Rice University, Scripps Research Translational Institute, Stanford University, University of California Berkeley, University of Chicago, University of Oklahoma and Yale University.