Reviews From Experts, Lawmakers, and Patients: The International Pricing Index Will Lower Drug Prices

WASHINGTON, D.C — As Big Pharma spends millions to kill proposed reforms in Medicare Part B, it’s important to keep in mind why: the proposal will lower drug prices and reduce patient out-of-pocket costs. Under the draft proposal from the Department of Health and Human Services, prices for expensive infused drugs administered in physician offices and hospitals would be brought more in line with what people in other wealthy nations pay. Read a snap shot of what patients, legislators, and experts are saying about the potential reform.
 
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT MEDICARE  PART B REFORMS

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN): “Tennesseans often struggle to afford prescription drugs, and this proposal appears to put patients and taxpayers first.” [WSJ, 10/25/18]
 
Avik Roy: “The administration unveiled a new proposal to substantially reduce the price of certain costly drugs administered under Medicare.” [Forbes, 11/26/18]
 
Bloomberg News: “Trump’s plan is a refreshing change: an idea for lowering drug prices that might actually work.” [Editorial Board, 10/26/18]

Ruth Rinehart, Primary Immune Deficiency Patient: “As a patient who is reliant on the services of Medicare Part B and continues to the pay the price for drugs for which Medicare cannot negotiate, I am strongly in favor of the Trump Administration’s proposal to lower Part B drug prices.” [Tampa, FL, 12/18/18]
 
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA): “The administration has taken a proposal that we had suggested in Medicare Part B...we speak about market basket reference pricing. Taking a market basket of pricing paid by developed economies — Germany, Great Britain, Australia, and Japan — and the United States pays some multiple. The administration has put out a rule to do this in Medicare Part B where ultimately the American consumer will pay 1.26 times that market basket average. There are ways to get at this.” [STAT, 11/30/18]
 
Professor Rachel Sachs: “Of all the drug pricing proposals the Trump administration has introduced so far – and there have been many – this is by far the most ambitious.” [Health Affairs, 10/26/18]

Paul Kleutgen cancer patient and former pharmaceutical executive: “The International Pricing Index Model for Medicare is a bold step to lower prices and out-of-pocket costs for people taking some of the most expensive drugs out there. That’s why the groups that profit from the current system are trying to stop it.” [St. James, NC, 12/18/18]

Dr. Peter Bach: “The proposed Part B payment model has multiple strong elements. It is an evaluation, if it works well it can be expanded, but if it doesn’t it can be sunset….It acknowledges that if the US does not have the political will to determine how much taxpayers should be paying for drugs, the US can still piggyback on the negotiations of other countries that have a strong tradition of fiscal responsibility with regards to health care and pharmaceutical costs.” [12/17/18]
 
Santa Rosa Press Democrat: “The Trump Administration wants to bring down those Medicare drug prices, keeping them more in line with prices charged abroad. A similar plan floated by the Obama Administration drew fierce opposition and was shelved.” [Editorial Board, 11/24/18]
 
Dr. Vincent Rajkumar: “Yes this may reduce Part B prices if it survives the onslaught of comments and lobbying that is sure to come from @PhRMA.” [Twitter, 10/27/18]

Mike Gaffney, Cancer Patient: “It is deeply frustrating to me that Medicare does not have the ability to negotiate, meaning that we pay 80% more than other wealthy countries like ours. That is why I am supportive of the Trump Administration’s plan to lower Medicare Part B drug prices for drugs like the infusion I received for a year and a half.” [Olympia, WA, 12/18/18]
 
Dr. Aaron Kesselheim: “The IPIM would likely lower prices in the US because many other countries evaluate the value a new drug provides as part of a process of negotiating a price with the manufacturer.” [12/17/18]


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