OnDemand WTP Pricing Research

Drug pricing reforms will disrupt cancer care for millions | TheHill

From dinner tables to the halls of Congress, the price of prescription drugs has recently dominated conversations across the country.

Last year, President Trump unveiled the American Patients First blueprint to reduce the costs of prescription drugs and limit out-of-pocket costs for American consumers. In an effort to address drug costs, President Trump and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar proposed the International Pricing Index (IPI) model, which systemically changes the way Medicare Part B drugs are purchased, distributed and administered to American seniors.

Affordable cancer care is a bipartisan issue – with both sides of the aisle holding hearings and releasing their own drug pricing reforms. Yet policymakers should not rush through ill-conceived reforms for the sake of political posturing. Prime example: the recently proposed IPI inserts third party vendors into the procurement and distribution of certain Medicare drugs which would quickly disrupt the seamless care millions of cancer patients experience today.

A variation of this proposal has been tried before – and it failed miserably.

In 2006, CMS launched the Competitive Acquisition Program (CAP) with the goal of reducing Medicare spending for Part B drugs, which are complex injections or infusions – such as chemotherapy – typically administered in a doctor’s office. The voluntary program was designed for third party vendors to compete in a bidding process to supply medicines to physician offices. In theory, patients were to benefit because they would get the drugs they need at a fraction of the price, and Medicare would save billions of dollars.  Vendors would benefit due to cost-savings from beneficiaries and improved payments from Medicare.

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Drug pricing reforms will disrupt cancer care for millions | TheHill.

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