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Reasons to Reject the Dangerous Medicare Pricing Proposal

Making sure that medicines are accessible and affordable for patients is a goal we all share. But policymakers are considering a dangerous Medicare reform policy that could threaten the future of groundbreaking cures.

The policy would allow government “negotiations” on the price of medicines for Medicare, and would give government a greater hand in dictating prices, rather than the current system that promotes competition. Moreover, this misguided policy would repeal a key provision of the Medicare Part D program – the noninterference clause – that protects coverage and access to medicines for seniors and people with disabilities. Taking away this protection threatens patients’ access to medicine and sacrifices future medical advances.

There are major problems with this proposal:

  • It puts innovation at risk. The policy could lead to an estimated 59 fewer new treatments over the next three decades. A new study by the Congressional Budget Office found that it would result in fewer groundbreaking treatments for patients in desperate need of relief.
  • It threatens the U.S. advantage. Patients who live in countries with a similar drug pricing policy often experience significant delays in accessing new treatments. Let’s not let the government dictate what medicines patients can access.
  • It overpromises. While the policy claims it will lower healthcare costs for all patients, less than 1% of seniors on Medicare would see reduced out-of-pocket costs. In fact, some experts estimate that the policy may even increase insurance premiums for seniors.

Adopting this misguided policy could result in serious consequences for patients and the U.S. healthcare system. To lower healthcare costs, policymakers should reject government “negotiation” policies and support real solutions to make medicines more affordable and accessible, such as capping annual out-of-pocket costs in Part D.

Ready for Cures