POLITICO - IS PHARMA’s COUNTEROFFER ENOUGH? Drug lobby PhRMA delivered its proposal to counter the White House’s most-favored nations plan earlier this week, four industry lobbyists confirmed to POLITICO. While the Part B proposal would save less than the administration’s original plan (cutting costs roughly 10 percent through a “market-based” discount versus 30 percent by linking to international prices), both the Part B demo and a Part D cap on patient costs could be rolled out quickly — i.e. before Nov. 3.
“Implementation would be aggressive and before the election — since this is a voluntary model and would not have to go through rulemaking,” the drugmakers' memo reads.
The feedback: “Not only do voluntary discounts not last long, but discounts do nothing to address the prices of drugs that come out after any discount goes into place,” tweeted Walid Gellad, of the Department of Health Policy and Management and director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing at the University of Pittsburgh. “Also, what is a 10% discount when list prices increases by 9.9% a year?”
Cowen analyst Rick Weissenstein wrote in a note that much would depend on how big the demos are and which drugs are included. “Given the history of drug makers' offers to cut spending, it would not surprise us if this offer has a number of strings attached that may make the effect less than advertised,” he wrote.
Advocacy group Patients for Affordable Drugs Now said patients “resoundingly reject” the proposal.
What’s next: The president will be briefed on the counterproposal after the Republican National Convention ends (so, possibly by the time you read this), according to one lobbyist. A decision about which way to go — finally releasing Trump’s most favored nations plan or taking up PhRMA’s option — could be made as soon as this weekend.
Read the full story in Politico: Trump administration bets big on Abbott antigen test,by SARAH OWERMOHLE 08/28/2020 12:01 PM EDT