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BIO Statement on MedPAC Vote

April 7, 2017

“The patients served under Part B include those fighting cancer, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis—those most vulnerable to disruptions in their treatment regimens. In advance of today’s vote, BIO and many other stakeholders expressed our concerns to MedPAC that the proposals being considered could threaten these vulnerable beneficiaries’ access to critical treatments. We are disappointed, therefore, that the Commission has voted to advance these proposals without addressing those concerns. Reducing provider reimbursement – particularly for small or rural practices – for Part B therapies can disrupt patient access, diminish their health outcomes, and increase overall healthcare expenditures by driving care to more costly and less convenient settings.

“We are also concerned that that the proposed “Drug Value Program” (DVP) leaves unanswered a number of critical questions, and could impose new restrictions on access to Part B therapies that will come between patients and their physicians when deciding upon the best course of treatment. In particular, the proposal to implement binding arbitration in the DVP would undermine the free-market negotiations that a robust and competitive marketplace requires and that the current ASP system currently benefits from.

“We hope that in the future the Commission will more fully consider the implications of their recommendations on patient’s health outcomes and access to care. We regret that the proposals advanced today threaten to undermine both by narrowly focusing on short-term savings that will put vulnerable patients at risk. We stand ready to work with the Commission and other stakeholders to develop patient-centric, value-driven reforms across the Medicare program.

“We urge Congress and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to consider the many concerns raised by BIO and other stakeholders in evaluating MedPAC’s proposals.”

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