New drug price law could help Part D enrollees who can’t fill cancer treatments due to costs, White House says – Endpoints News

The White House Council of Economic Advisers said late last week that health insurance can be done in unique ways, such as with newly passed federal laws Anti-Inflation Act. And by citing new data, it reveals some insights into cancer patients, a focus for the Biden administration thanks to President Biden’s revived Cancer Moonshot.

In a blog post published Friday, the White House highlighted reducing prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries as one of three ways it improves access to health care. The IRA specifically limits out-of-pocket expenses for seniors to $2,000 per year and grants Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices.

The CEA paper suggests that thanks to the $2,000 cap, some of the 30% who are currently unable to fill their prescriptions due to financial issues will be able to:

A recent study found that up to 30 percent of unsubsidized Medicare beneficiaries fail to meet their cancer drug prescriptions, likely due to cost constraints (Figure 5). With the new cap, additional Medicare beneficiaries who currently refrain from filling their prescriptions may be able to fill their prescriptions.

Biden’s renewed call for a cancer moonshot earlier this month announcing a goal of reducing the death rate by at least 50% within 25 years may also be in the works as a legal challenge to the new drug pricing law. Industry and others may argue that the statutory drug pricing system “is a punitive measure subject to the Excessive Fines Clause,” according to the Congressional Research Service.

Also Read :  NACDS Brings “Face of Neighborhood Healthcare” to White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

Per Tom Bollyky, director of the global health program at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR):

Thomas Bollyki

said Bollyky Endpoint News later in an email that while he had not reviewed the analysis closely, the CEA analysis was still based on estimates and projected benefits. From his point of view, however, it is important to expand the political discussion from purely economic effects and possible government savings to the effects on patients.

“It is helpful that this analysis is also connected to the broader context of cancer management priorities. Recently, the debate over IRA Medicare pricing reforms has been centered around competing priorities: reducing the economic burden of high drug costs on the system vs. ensuring future pharmaceutical innovation. These issues are important, but this blog post was a welcome attempt to expand the debate beyond that,” he added.

Also Read :  Pharmacists angry as Sudan plans to liberalise medicine prices amidst dengue outbreak

Stacie Dusetzina, associate professor of public health policy at Vanderbilt and author of a paper cited by the White House, emailed Endpoints to say she agreed with the White House’s assessment.

A Medicare Part D cap could mean many more people can complete their cancer treatments. We found that many Medicare beneficiaries — 30% of those who don’t have low-income subsidies — didn’t take their cancer treatments at all. In other work, we and other authors have seen that higher out-of-pocket expenses also reduce medication use, even in people beginning treatment.

Today, the retail price of many cancer drugs exceeds $15,000 per month, which can mean thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses for beneficiaries. To give a specific example, we looked at this for the most commonly bottled cancer drugs in Medicare, and each one of these would cost a beneficiary over $3,000 out of pocket for just the first prescription (first month of treatment). Most beneficiaries would pay more than $10,000 a year for just a single cancer drug that falls under Part D, highlighting why people today have a hard time affording to start or continue treatment.

Stacie Dusetzina

According to the study’s abstract, the researchers examined just over 17,000 new prescriptions issued to Part D beneficiaries from 2012 to 2018, including those who did and did not receive a low-income subsidy. They found that beneficiaries who received some type of subsidy were nearly twice as likely to receive the prescribed drug within 90 days than those without.

Also Read :  Boyfriend Venmo Requested Girlfriend $7 for Cold Medicine

“Among unsubsidized beneficiaries, we observed non-initiation in 30 percent of prescriptions written for cancer drugs, 22 percent for hepatitis C treatments, and more than 50 percent for disease-modifying therapies for either immune system disorders or hypercholesterolemia,” the authors noted adding that the study’s findings “support current legislative efforts to improve access to high-cost drugs by reducing outlays under Medicare Part D.”