Last month, the Administration announced a dangerous new proposal, the International Pricing Index Model, that would upend the delivery of Medicare Part B medicines. As PhRMA President and CEO Stephen J. Ubl stated, “The administration is imposing foreign price controls from countries with socialized health care systems that deny their citizens access and discourage innovation. These proposals are to the detriment of American patients.”
This potential new model would be released as a mandatory, national-scale demonstration out of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation and has quickly raised a lot of concerns with providers, patients, consumer watchdog groups and others.
- Community Oncology Alliance: “What the administration is proposing is incredibly complex and extremely difficult to comprehend how it would be implemented in the real-world of medical practice. Their premise that oncologists use drugs based on financial incentives is simply not founded in fact and calls into question the need for this convoluted upheaval of the current cancer care delivery system.”
- American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association: “The Administration’s proposed changes to this vital program would place middlemen between physicians and their patients—potentially limiting the availability of certain treatment options and preventing proper access to care for some of the most vulnerable patients. Moreover, the erosion of the patient-doctor relationship caused by these changes could lead to larger patient safety issues, which often increases health care costs overtime.”
- Information Technology and Innovation Foundation: “Biomedical innovation is critical to addressing human health challenges. And a healthy life-sciences innovation system depends on robust funding of biomedical R&D, both public and private. … Price controls and other steps to reduce revenues, like weakening intellectual property protection, would stifle knowledge generation and sharing, leaving future generations less access to effective new drugs than would otherwise be the case.”
- American Action Forum: “Countries around the globe have low prices because they have consistently told manufacturers to take the low price or simply not be able to sell. That is one reason that 90 percent of new drugs are available to U.S. patients, but only two-thirds are available in the U.K., one-half in France and Canada, and one-third in Australia.”
- National Taxpayers Union: “The President's own Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) made an important point in a report released earlier this week on the negative experience of socialist countries that have attempted ‘through a monopoly government health insurer ... [to] centrally set all prices paid to suppliers.’ CEA is absolutely right, and our own government should avoid too closely tying part of our health care system to the policies of other countries that have yet to break out of the ‘monopoly government health insurer’ mindset.”
- Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association: “Forcing foreign government price controls on American health care would negatively impact biopharmaceutical investment in research and development, create barriers to access to life-saving medicines, immediately reduce capital construction and hurt union construction jobs upon which the men and women of America’s Building Trades rely.”
These far-reaching changes to Medicare Part B would take the program in the wrong direction, potentially hurting patient access to needed treatments, creating disruption and uncertainty for providers and discouraging continued medical innovation here in the United States. The administration should take all of the concerns raised into account and stop this extremely flawed proposal.
Nicole Longo Nicole is director of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on Medicare, 340B, importation and more. She previously worked for a D.C.-based public affairs firm where she assisted a wide range of clients with communications efforts on everything from trade policy to agriculture policy to health care policy. Outside the office, Nicole can be found trying new restaurants (usually Italian), taking an occasional barre class and cheering on the Cincinnati Bengals.