Conti R, Dusetzina S. B. , and Sachs R. “How The ACA Reframed The Prescription Drug Market And Set The Stage For Current Reform Efforts.” Health Affairs. VOL. 39, NO. 3 (March 2020)


The Affordable Care Act contained a range of provisions that altered prescription drug access and affordability for patients, payers, and providers. Yet the act stopped short of instituting systemic changes in the pricing of drugs, in part to address concerns that more fundamental changes might disrupt the development of new medicines. Looking back a decade after the Affordable Care Act became law, we found that new drug approvals have accelerated and the therapeutic advances embodied in some novel medicines are substantial—as are the prices that companies are charging for them. The lack of affordability of prescription drugs has become an increasing challenge for American patients and payers, particularly those with limited budgets. In this article we consider how things have changed in the past decade and how missed opportunities in the Affordable Care Act’s passage figure prominently in the current drug pricing debate.

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