Providers Challenge Most Favored Nation Model on Drug Pricing
Drug pricing is a bipartisan issue (https://www.americanbar.org/groups/crsj/publications/human_rights_magazine_home/health-matters-in-elections/prescription-drug-affordability/) that ranks very high on public opinion polling, and patients with cancer (https://qz.com/1540489/cancer-drugs-are-way-more-expensive-in-the-us-than-other-countries/) in particular feel the effects of an unregulated market.
In an effort to provide affordable and accessible health care, former President Donald Trump issued four executive orders in November 2020, designed to tackle the reimportation of prescription medications through Medicare Part B, known as the Most Favored Nation Model (https://innovation.cms.gov/innovation-models/most-favored-nation-model). Providers, patients, and political communities were adamantly against (https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-trump-drug-pricing/update-1-federal-judge-blocks-trump-administration-drug-pricing-rule-idUSL1N2J325K) the change arguing it eliminates access to vital care for Medicare patients.
ONS also advocated caution (https://www.ons.org/sites/default/files/2021-01/12.8.20%20ONS%20MFN%20Model%20Comments%20Final.pdf) to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the safety and efficacy aspects of reranking imported drugs, noting that the lack of input from key stakeholders could:
- Decrease the number of facilities that offer cancer care
- Provide little time for institutions to adjust to practice changes
“We urge you to include more robust safeguards to monitor and immediately remedy access issues for beneficiaries as a result of closures and consolidation among providers,” ONS leaders said in a letter (https://www.ons.org/sites/default/files/2021-01/12.8.20%20ONS%20MFN%20Model%20Comments%20Final.pdf) to CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “We urge you to delay rollout of the Model until after the comment period closes.”