Doctors for America issued the following statement applauding the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for recommending a series of possible reforms to the prescription drug payment scheme under Medicare Part B.
Statement from Justin Lowenthal, co-leader of Doctors for America’s Drug Pricing and Value Campaign:
“As doctors and medical students advocating for an affordable and sustainable system of drug pricing for our patients, we support the proposal by the CMS to test a sensible set of models aimed at changing how CMS pays for medications under Medicare Part B. A microcosm of a larger problem in our health care system, spending on Medicare Part B prescription drugs was $22 billion in 2015, more than double the amount in 2005. This level of increase is alarming. We need to ensure our limited healthcare budgets are being spent most efficiently to maximize health gains for the patients we serve. It is both frustrating and heartbreaking to see our patients struggle to chose between medications and rent as their out of pocket costs grow.
Reforms are vital to better align system-wide incentives for choice of prescription drugs with their efficacy and the value that they provide for patients. We believe that these proposals aim to place quality and value at the center of the shared decisions we make in partnership with our patients and ultimately have the potential to safeguard affordability of the medications delivered under Medicare Part B. While we do not take a position on the merits of any specific proposal at this time, we believe that all of the six alternative models proposed by CMS to address drug prices under Medicare Part B are worthy of consideration. Full testing of these alternative payment models, including the systematic comparison of their effects on patients as well as physicians, will enable us - physicians, medical students, advocates, policy experts, and the patients for whom we care - to make an educated choice for the best path forward toward making our healthcare system work better for all."
About the Doctors for America Drug Pricing & Value Campaign
Through the Drug Pricing and Value Campaign and other initiatives, Doctors for America is committed to speaking on behalf of our membership of more than 18,000 physicians and medical trainees and to advocating for our patients in discussions surrounding prescription drug pricing, value, affordability, and sustainability for the healthcare system.