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CLSA Joins 338 Patient, Provider & Life Sciences Organizations to Express Concerns re Administration’s Proposed Part B Overhaul (Reference Pricing/International Pricing Index) – December 2018

December 10, 2018

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Charles Schumer
Minority Leader
U.S. Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House of Representatives
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Leader McConnell, Leader Schumer, Speaker Ryan and Leader Pelosi:

We are writing on behalf of the Part B Access for Seniors and Physicians (ASP) Coalition, which is committed to advancing life-saving innovation in the U.S. We are greatly concerned about a proposal by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement an unprecedented, mandatory experiment affecting Medicare beneficiaries who take Part B-covered drugs. We support efforts to strengthen the United States’ health care system through patient-centered reforms that embrace competition, foster the provider-patient relationship, and value transformation.

The CMS “International Pricing Index” model is not aligned with the above principles. Instead of encouraging Medicare beneficiaries to work closely with their physicians to select treatments based on evidence and best practices, the model would import foreign-based price controls, regardless of value or innovation. Our greatest concern is that this model would impose decisions made in countries such as Greece or Japan on approximately half of all independent physicians and hospital providers, as well as their patients. Compounding these concerns, the model also interjects new middlemen between physicians and patients – vendors that would impose requirements dictating treatment for patients with cancer, autoimmune disorders and other complex, life-threatening conditions. The model would restrict access in the short-term, and reduce incentives for medical advancement in the long-term, ultimately posing serious risks to vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries.

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