Tidelands Health physician part of national effort to improve transparency in prescription drug pricing
A longtime Tidelands Health physician is part of a national effort to shine light on the murky world of prescription drug pricing.
Dr. Gerald Harmon, vice president of Tidelands Health Group, served as chairman of an American Medical Association task force behind a new website, TruthinRX.org, that launched this week. Tidelands Health Group is the health system’s regional network of physician and specialty practices.
The new website is meant to highlight the lack of transparency in prescription drug pricing, a problem underscored by the recent 400 percent price increase for lifesaving EpiPens - an increase that has drawn ire across the political spectrum.
The site gives consumers an opportunity to tell stories of how rising prescription drug prices are affecting their health and finances, and it will house curated videos and testimonials. The site also gives supporters ways to take action, such as sending a message to Congress and sharing content on social media networks.
“It’s heartbreaking as a physician when a patient is unable to take a much-needed prescription drug because of its price,” Dr. Harmon said. “We need to understand how prices are determined to help ensure integrity in the process.”
Prescription drug pricing has been a consistent concern for patients and their physicians - with a 20 percent increase in out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs from 2013 to 2015.
The 13-member task force led by Dr. Harmon was appointed by the AMA’s board of trustees. Its goal was to provide guidance on the association’s advocacy and grassroots efforts aimed at addressing pharmaceutical costs.
In response to the task force’s recommendations, the AMA on Tuesday launched the TruthinRx.org website. Dr. Harmon is chairman-elect of the AMA board of trustees