Health Affairs
Drug manufacturers' donations to patient assistance charities effectively subsidize the purchase of their own drugs, a new study published in Health Affairs concludes. PhRMA counters that coupons and other forms of assistance help patients afford their out-of-pocket costs.

In Violation of ‘Spirit’ of Anti-Kickback Law, Drug Manufacturer Donations to Patient Assistance Charities Result in Bigger Profits, Study Finds

In a new study published in Health Affairs, researchers find that drug manufacturers are likely to profit from donations they make to patient assistance charities that help patients cover out-of-pocket costs associated with expensive treatments for serious and often rare conditions. By designating these donations to help with costs associated with certain medical conditions, manufacturers are able to effectively subsidize the purchase of their own drugs, which study authors say violates the “spirit” of the federal anti-kickback statute. 

The study, published on Sept. 6, was authored by Leemore Dafny, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard University, Christopher Ody, Assistant Professor of Health Enterprise Management at Northwestern University, and Teresa Rokos of University of Southern California. Dafny currently serves as an expert for the U.S. Justice Department where she consults on allegations connected to pharmaceutical manufacturers’ relationship with copay assistance charities.

In a new study published in Health Affairs, researchers find that drug manufacturers are likely to profit from donations they make to patient assistance charities that help patients cover out-of-pocket costs associated with expensive treatments for serious and often rare conditions.

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