Leading response to Kyla Baucom
Oct 2, 2023 at 6:03 PM
Political Issue in Healthcare
The healthcare environment encounters numerous political, economic, ethical, and cultural issues that necessitate further scrutiny and intervention. One political issue that both political parties share is the substantial rise in pharmaceutical costs. Pharmaceutical costs have grown with the emergence of specialty medications and price increases of brand-name and generic drugs (Emanuel, 2019). Global spending for prescription medications is set to increase by 3-6% per year, with an estimated $350 billion spent in the United States alone (Vincent Rajkumar, 2020). These prices reduce healthcare access for citizens and threaten to strain the federal budget (Congressional Budget Office, 2022). This reduces available funding for disadvantaged areas and poses the risk of unaffordable costs for consumers seeking prescription medications (Vincent Rajkumar, 2020). Approximately 25% of U.S. citizens struggle to afford their medications due to elevated out-of-pocket costs (Vincent Rajkumar, 2020). These figures are expected to rise along with pharmaceutical costs, which continue to climb due to monopolies employed by pharmaceutical companies. This problem requires a strategic solution to facilitate prescription drug access for Americans with medical conditions.
Doctoral Leader Solutions
The primary strategy a doctoral-prepared leader could implement to address this issue is lobbying. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) nurse leader should advocate for reduced patent protections to reduce monopolies and encourage competition (Vincent Rajkumar, 2020). This may drive down costs with the emergence of generic drugs from other manufacturers. Additionally, the DNP should advocate for a more straightforward generic approval process to expedite the development of cheaper pharmaceutical alternatives. Nonprofit generic manufacturing is another strategy that could reduce medication costs (Vincent Rajkumar, 2020). On the community level, DNP leaders should direct their patients to resources such as goodrx.com to find the lowest prices for their medications at the cheapest pharmacies (Vincent Rajkumar, 2020). Implementing these solutions may improve patient care through advocacy and consideration.
Congressional Budget Office (2022). Prescription drugs: Spending, use, and prices. https://www.cbo.gov/publication/57772
Emanuel, E. J. (2019). When is the price of a drug unjust? The average lifetime earnings standard. Health Affairs, 38(4), 604-612.
Vincent Rajkumar S. (2020). The high cost of prescription drugs: Causes and solutions. Blood Cancer Journal, 10(6), 71. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41408-020-0338-x
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