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BIO Condemns Trump Administration's Last-ditch Effort To Strip Critical Medicare Part D Protections

January 20, 2021
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In his last day in office, former President Donald Trump proposed a sweeping change to Medicare’s “Part D” drug benefit. Billed as a demonstration project through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), this new policy would allow insurance plans to cover fewer “protected” drugs in their formularies beginning next year.

Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath, president and CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), made the following statement:

“In his last day in office, and post resignations from both Health and Human Services (HHS) Director Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma, former President Trump attempted to strip essential protections for seniors in Medicare Part D.

“At the heart of the wildly successful Medicare Part D drug benefit has been a pillar of protections against anti-discrimination practices for seniors and vulnerable Americans.

“Previous attempts to modify Medicare’s “protected” drug classes have been met with fierce opposition by patients, stakeholders, and members of Congress – and for good reason. 

“Proposed changes could result in seniors losing access to treatments they rely on, including antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, immunosuppressants, and antineoplastics. Removing these protections will undoubtedly have a crushing effect on patients with mental health issues, cancer, transplants, and other life-threatening conditions.

“BIO strongly opposes this action, which was no doubt intended to be a parting shot at biopharmaceutical researchers. We urge President Biden’s new administration to put patient needs first and scrap this cruel policy.” 

You can find the full CMMI proposal here

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