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BIO Applauds USDA-FDA Agreement to Improve Coordination

Washington, D.C. (January 30, 2018) – The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) is applauding a new agreement announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enhance coordination between the two agencies on program areas such as biotechnology.

DSCSA: Grandfathering Policy for Packages and Homogenous Cases of Product Without a Product Identifier

Re: Docket No. FDA–2017–D–6526: Grandfathering Policy for Packages and Homogenous Cases of Product Without a Product Identifier; Draft Guidance For Industry

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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 Congratulates Alex Azar on Confirmation as Secretary of Health and Human Services

BIO Congratulates Alex Azar on Confirmation as Secretary of Health and Human Services   Washington, DC (January 24, 2018) – Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) President and CEO Jim Greenwood issued the following statement regarding the confirmation of Alex Azar as United States Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS):

BIO Releases First Report in a Series on the State of Innovation in Highly Prevalent Chronic Diseases

First-of-its-kind report highlights the need to stimulate development efforts for depression therapeutics.   Washington, DC (January 18, 2018) – Today, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) released a new report, The State of Innovation in Highly Prevalent Chronic Diseases: Depression Therapeutics, the first in a series on the current funding and R&D land scape for drugs to treat highly prevalent, chronic diseases. 

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 Applauds Support for Innovation in Trump Administration Task Force Report

“Biotechnology Sector is a Driver of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’” Washington, D.C. (January 9, 2018) – The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) is applauding a new report from the Interagency Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity, which encourages growth and continued innovation in America’s biotechnology sector.

BIO Statement on Retirement of Senator Orrin Hatch

Washington, DC (January 2, 2018) – “BIO joins the nation – and the great state of Utah – in applauding Senator Hatch for his many years of service, and for proving time and time again to be a strong champion for biomedical innovation."

BIO Applauds House Passage of the Corporate Governance Reform and Transparency Act

Washington, DC (December 21, 2017) – Today, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) applauds the House of Representatives for passing H.R. 4015, the Corporate Governance Reform and Transparency Act.  This bipartisan bill, sponsored by Reps. Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Gregory Meeks (D-NY), was approved by a 238-182 vote.