Weekly Policy Update: True Transparency and Medicare Stakeholder Input
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 02/16/2018
CBSA promotes the interests of more than 725 bioscience companies and their 30,000 employees. We work every day to create an innovation-friendly business environment ensuring that as an industry we deliver value to patients and our state’s economy while creating the next generation of treatments and cures.
At CBSA we agree that patients need access to medicines and health care at affordable prices and encourage true transparency. True transparency means:
- Working together to provide patients access to affordable medicines
- Addressing the health care system as a whole
- Considering every player in the health care system to make meaningful changes for patients and their families
We are talking to elected officials, legislators, members, and business organizations about how drug prices are determined, what impacts drug pricing and potential solutions to drive down cost.
View CBSA’s fact sheet on true transparency, which provides our guiding principles on evaluating how our organization will address legislation related to drug pricing transparency.
To that end, CBSA recently took an oppose position to HB18 – 1009: Diabetes Drug Pricing Transparency Act 2018, requiring drug manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers to submit annual reports to the state board regarding drugs used to treat diabetes that are subject to price increases. Additionally, it would require nonprofit organizations advocating for patients with diabetes – or that fund diabetes medical research – that receive contributions from diabetes drug manufacturers to annually report those contributions. For more information on HB18-1009 and reasons CBSA opposes click here.
CBSA continues to engage in proactive legislation, such as the Advanced Industries Export Grant Program (which, as reported last week passed its first committee after strong testimony from CBSA and member company, Allison Medical). We also continue to advocate for the reauthorization of the AI Internship Grant Program.
MEDICARE – STAKEHOLDER INPUT
In last week’s policy update, we discussed the details of the Bipartisan Budget Act Of 2018, signed into law. One of the surprises in the Act was a provision that increases discounts that pharmaceutical companies must give seniors enrolled in the Medicare Part D drug plans, by making the “doughnut hole” smaller.
While we support making out of pocket costs for Part D beneficiaries more affordable, the majority of savings from this proposal go back to the insurance companies that sponsor Part D plans, rather than helping the patients. This proposal causes companies to divert dollars from R&D, which ultimately will stifle innovation and does little to save costs for Medicare beneficiaries. We’ve reached out to our CO Delegation to express appreciation for the package including IPAB repeal, increased funding for the NIH and the CHIP extension. At the same time, we’ve voiced our concerns related to the proposed changes to the Medicare Part D program.
If you’d like to engage in contacting your elected official or be a part of this stakeholder process, please contact CBSA vice president Jennifer Jones.