HHS agrees to delay drug rebate rule

HHS has agreed to postpone by one year the start date of a rule it passed last November that would eliminate the rebates drugmakers pay to pharmacy benefit managers. 

The rule was postponed from its original start date of Jan. 1, 2022, to Jan. 1, 2023, according to a court document filed Jan. 30. It was passed by HHS last November as an attempt to simplify drug pricing and pass discounts to consumers. Drugmakers have supported the rule, while PBMs have opposed it. 

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, a national group that represents PBMs, filed a lawsuit Jan. 12 challenging the rule, arguing it would drastically increase Medicare Part D premiums and costs for taxpayers. 

The yearlong delay will give President Joe Biden's administration time to review the rule and its potential impact on Medicare Part D and its enrollees. 

The lobby said it will pause litigation against HHS related to the rebate rule, but "if the administration does not, after its review, retract the rule or propose a satisfactory solution to resolve our legal claims, or timely conclude its review, we will be forced to ask the court to reactivate the suit," the group said in a news release

John Bates, a U.S. district judge in Washington, D.C., ordered HHS to make a decision on the rule by April 1.

More articles on pharmacy:
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Moderna asks FDA's permission to add 5 more COVID-19 vaccine doses per vial
WHO changes advice on vaccinations for pregnant women

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