BIO Submits Comments Re: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems (OPPS) and Quality Reporting Programs Proposed Rule

On September 24, BIO submitted final comments in response to the CY 2019 Outpatient Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule. This year’s OPPS rule included a Request for Information (RFI) around the potential development of a new innovation model for delivery of Part B drugs, using CMS’ authority under the previously existing Competitive Acquisition Program (CAP) – of which the original iteration was discontinued in 2008 after failing to attract participants and costing more than the traditional reimbursement structure in Part B. BIO outlined the need for CMS to be thoughtful and measured in the development of models that are voluntary and support a competitive, market-driven approach, including that any models properly address: (1) adequate protections for patient access to clinically appropriate care and lowering costs to beneficiaries; (2) not creating interference that erodes the existing coverage and reimbursement structure, (3) encouraging robust competition and avoiding misaligned incentives; (4) ensuring workability for physicians who may choose to participate; (5) considering appropriate exemptions for certain drugs and biologicals; and (6) transparency in model design, development, and assessment processes.

BIO Submits Comments Re: CY 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B

BIO represents an industry that is devoted to discovering new treatments and ensuring patient access to them. Accordingly, we closely monitor changes to Medicare’s reimbursement rates and payment policies for their potential impact on innovation and patient access to drugs and biologicals. As a threshold matter, we raise our concern with the implementation of a policy that can have such impacts in limiting access for beneficiaries in MA via the application of step therapy, as detailed in the Administration’s August 7th memo.2 As detailed in our letter to the Administration, we are particularly concerned with the lack of specificity or detail in this memo around critical patient protections and appropriate implementation, including ensuring: sufficient oversight by CMS; clear clinical criteria for step therapy policies; transparency into, and communication of, step therapy policies to beneficiaries and robust beneficiary protections; timely exceptions and appeals processes; sufficient protections for those on existing therapies; and protection for beneficiaries from higher cost-sharing.

BIO Submits Comments Re: HHS Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs

First and foremost, this is an extraordinary time for biotechnology. The therapies in development and coming to the market are unlike any we have seen in the history of medicine. We have entered into a new era of medicine, and BIO members are making discoveries that were unimaginable a decade ago. The days of traditional chemical drugs that treat broad classes of patients in blunt ways are giving way to the development of entirely new ways to treat and ultimately cure disease for targeted patient populations using living organisms, including a patient’s own cells. We have already seen the first wave of these advances reach the marketplace, with many more already in the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) regulatory process. However, BIO and our members recognize that too many patients – even those with insurance – cannot afford the life-saving cures and treatments that biopharmaceutical companies are developing. We stand with the Trump Administration in our shared commitment to addressing this serious problem. To accomplish this, we must harness – not abandon – the free market that has delivered amazing innovations for patients and made America first in the world in biomedical innovation. That’s why BIO has joined with stakeholders across the healthcare spectrum – including insurers, Pharmacy Benefit Mangers (PBMs), employers, and patient groups – in a coalition that developed and supports consensus, market-based reforms to lower drug costs without harming innovation.

BIO Submits Comments Re: Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems (IPPS) Proposed Rule

BIO’s comments on the Proposed Rule are focused on the following areas:  Proposed changes to the IPPS for coverage and payment of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-cell (CAR T) Therapy and other Transformative Therapies;  Updates to the Medicare Severity – Diagnosis Related Groups (MS-DRG) to appropriately account for care delivered, including for patients with rare diseases;      Applications for FY 2019 New Technology Add-On Payments (NTAP) and the process for determination of receipt of NTAP status;  Improving patient outcomes and reducing burden through meaningful measures and expanding access to vaccines through appropriate quality measures; and  Requirements for hospitals to make public a list of their standard charges via the Internet.

BIO Submits Comments Re: CY 2019 Medicare Advantage and Part D Call Letter

BIO supports CMS’s commitment to improving the quality and delivery of care in the MA and Part D programs. We believe it is critically important to ensure that policies in these programs advance patient access to timely and appropriate treatment, particularly for prescription drugs and vaccines. To that end, we provide comments in the following areas: The specialty tier eligibility cost threshold should be increased for 2019 and in future years and the exceptions process expanded to ensure that the specialty tier does not discriminate against vulnerable beneficiaries;  Co-insurance in the Part D non-preferred drug tier can unduly limit access to care for patients with severe and complex diseases;  Increased enforcement of nondiscrimination should be used when evaluating benefit design in the MA and Part D programs;  Access to innovative treatment options for pain and addiction should be prioritized as a part of addressing opioid overutilization in MA Part D plans;  MA and Part D plans should prioritize and increase access to vaccinations for Medicare beneficiaries;  The timeframes and processes for formulary updates should support the inclusion of new therapies;  Drug tier labels should be accurately reflective of the tier’s composition.  The inclusion of prescription drug costs in Medicare advantage uniformity flexibility should provide patient access to the most appropriate treatment;  Additional flexibility in design of maximum out-of-pocket costs should be considered to assist beneficiaries;  The availability of suitable plan offerings should be increased through removal of the meaningful difference requirements;      Additions to the Star Ratings are critical to accurate assessment of patient care quality; and  Efforts to expand coverage for certain subsets of products MA-PD plans should focus across all drugs offered under the Part D program.

BIO Applauds Introduction of the Ensuring the Value of the 340B Program Act of 2018

Washington, DC (March 1, 2018) – BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood issued the following statement today regarding the introduction by Senator Charles Grassley of S. 2453, the Ensuring the Value of the 340B Program Act of 2018:

BIO Submits Comments Re: Medicare CY 2018 Part D Call Letter

BIO strongly supports CMS’s commitment to improving the quality of the Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D programs. We consider it especially important to focus on policies that impact access to prescription drugs and biologicals for Medicare beneficiaries in MA and Part D plans. To further improve access to crucial therapies and immunizations for these patients, we urge CMS to consider the following comments, discussed in more detail below: Cost-sharing in the Part D specialty tier can unduly burden patients with severe, complex diseases and is exacerbated by the fact that the dollar-per-month threshold on the specialty tier allows a broad range of therapies to be included. While we appreciated the effort in 2017 toward increasing the threshold, BIO urges CMS to continue to substantially increase the threshold for 2018 and beyond. BIO also urges CMS to review the specialty tiers to ensure they do not discourage enrollment by certain Part D-eligible individuals. CMS should continue to seek information on the Part D tiering exceptions process and ensure that tiering structures do not impede beneficiary access to medically necessary and appropriate treatments. CMS should ensure that the timeframe and process for formulary updates reasonably allows for the addition of new therapies. CMS should work to make Medicare Plan Finder inclusive of the most up to date formulary information to best inform beneficiary prescription drug coverage choice. CMS should finalize the proposal to include a new display measure around the adjudication process and should continue efforts to further increase transparency around this process to provide patients with appropriate access to needed medicines. CMS should evaluate access to specialty pharmacies in considering network adequacy and patient access issues. CMS should continue to encourage increased beneficiary vaccination rates and ensure MA plans deem vaccinations provided by pharmacists, in accordance with state laws, as in-network providers for these services. CMS should finalize the movement of the High Risk Medication (HRM) measure from the Star Ratings to the display measures. CMS should ensure that innovative model testing in the Medicare program works to maintain or improve beneficiary access to appropriate care and treatment. CMS should look to include display measures consistent with the goals of the National Action Plan for Adverse Drug Event Prevention in future years. CMS should finalize the clarification around "reference-based pricing"2 in Part D beneficiary cost-sharing arrangements. CMS should look to further ensure market stabilization for the dually eligible population in Puerto Rico.

BIO Submits Comments Re: Medicare CY 2019 Part D Proposed Rule

BIO supports CMS’s efforts to make changes to the Medicare Advantage, Medicare Fee-for-Service and the Part D Prescription Drug Benefit Programs in a manner that improves overall healthcare quality, while not compromising access to the most appropriate course of treatment. Our comments, detailed further in the balance of this letter, focus on the following areas: Request for Information to Require Pass through of Manufacturer Rebates at the Point of Sale to the Beneficiary Implementation of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA) Treatment of Follow-On Biological Products as Generics for Non-LIS Catastrophic and LIS Cost-Sharing Revisions to Part D Tiering Exceptions Expedited Substitutions of Certain Generics and Other Midyear Formulary Changes Maximum Out-of-Pocket Limit and Cost-Sharing Limits for Medicare Parts A and B Services Flexibility in the Medicare Advantage Uniformity Requirements Any Willing Pharmacy Standards Terms and Conditions Medicare Advantage and Part D Prescription Drug Program Quality Rating System MA/Part D Artificial Limits

BIO Statement on House Energy & Commerce Committee 340B Drug Pricing Program Review

Washington, DC (January 10, 2018) – BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood issued the following statement regarding the review of the 340B drug pricing program released by the House Energy & Commerce Committee today:

BIO Submits Comments Re: ICER Proposed Revisions to its Value Framework for Treatments for Ultra-Rare Diseases

BIO appreciates the opportunity to comment on these proposed revisions. Patients living with rare diseases often experience significant unmet medical need due to the lack of knowledge about how these diseases are caused or inherited and their progression. That those suffering from rare diseases are predominately children raises issues around how society prioritizes and develops treatments for these conditions. We believe there are significant challenges in reconciling existing population-level value assessment methodologies with the varied healthcare contexts and deeply personal patient-level treatment decisions faced by patients afflicted with rare diseases, their families, and their clinicians. For a number of reasons, applying a patient-centric lens when considering the value of treatment is especially important when considering rare diseases.