Hospitals urge CMS to withdraw 'most favored nation' drug-pricing rule

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The American Hospital Association urged CMS to withdraw the "most favored nation" drug pricing rule in a letter addressed to acting CMS Administrator Elizabeth Richter, dated Jan. 25.

The association claims the rule, which went into effect Jan. 1, places "the entire onus of reducing drug prices on hospitals, rather than on drug companies or on Medicare." 

The hospital lobby urged CMS to withdraw the rule and replace it with "a serious effort at drug-pricing reform."

The rule ties drug prices for some Medicare Part B drugs to those paid in other wealthy countries. 

"Instead of directly tackling the skyrocketing cost of drugs, this rule puts hospitals in the untenable position of having to divert resources from other patient care simply to buy the drug therapies they need for their patients. And instead of enacting thoughtful policies that attempt to lower drug prices, this rule puts patients at risk," the association claimed in its letter. 

The organization wrote that CMS has said it expects beneficiaries' access to drugs to be impeded by the rule and that it will force patients to accept less-effective treatments or forgo necessary care. CMS has estimated that within three years, nearly one out of five Medicare Part B enrollees may have no access to drugs under the most-favored nation rule, the association wrote. 

Read the full letter here.

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