Pages: 1 2
Beyond direct unemployment in biopharmaceutical companies, the Battelle analysis declared, “the biopharmaceutical sector is the foundation upon which one of the United States’ most dynamic innovation and business ecosystems is built…and acts as the funnel and distribution engine for getting life-saving and quality-of-life therapeutics to the marketplace,” Battelle added.
A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report said such a policy as proposed for Part D “could reduce the amount of funds manufacturers invest in research nd development of new products. Reducing investment in research will slow medical progress in Alzheimer’s, cancer and other conditions.”
Part D, it said, has avoided the type of government-imposed access restrictions common in Medicaid. Beneficiary choice among plans and the availability of a range of affordable options are key components of Part D, promoting both affordability and access to medicines.
A Lewin Group study found that in 2011 the Part D plans with the highest and second highest enrollment covered 99 percent and 94 percent, respectively, of the drugs most often prescribed to those 65 or older. So said the health research organization.
“In short,” wrote Grace-Maria Turner in Forbes, “the President’s plan will cut investment in research and development. In the longer term, the diminished incentive for success will have companies thinking hard about whether it’s worth it to invest $1.2 billion to bring a new drug to market when the government may set prices below their costs of development and production.”
Part D enrollees are permitted to change drug plans annually so they can maintain prescription drug coverage that fits their medical needs and pocketbook. Those who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid—about 9 million seniors—may change plans any time, unlike Medicaid where beneficiaries typically are restricted to the particular state’s preferred drug list. Imposing Medicaid-like price controls on Part D could raise cost for seniors–the same effect as a tax hike. Applying the Medicaid rebate rule to Medicare Part D would also likely mean higher prices for consumers at large, some economists predict.
A policy that threatens big job losses as well as Medicare beneficiaries’ access to life-saving drugs should be dismissed outright.
Pages: 1 2