Pharma dollars back patient groups that oppose Medicare Part B overhaul

After the Obama administration proposed reform Part B Medicare earlier this year , a lot of patient advocacy groups quickly expressed opposition. A new analysis , however, found that the vast majority of the groups received funding from the pharmaceutical industry, which may be harmed if the proposal comes into force.

Specifically, 110 of the 147 patient groups who oppose the plan – or 75 percent – have received financial support from drug makers, according to Public Citizen, the consumer group. Patient groups were identified from signed letters opposing the proposal was sent to members of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is in charge of the review.

241 Other patient groups, Public Citizen maintains are mostly associated with medical or drug manufacturers also signed letters opposing the reform. The findings are based on voluntary information patient groups and drug manufacturers its website, according to Public Citizen, which noted that the total amounts of support from industry are mostly unknown.

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As noted above, the administration wants to encourage greater use less expensive, but equally effective, drugs covered by Part B program, which pays for injectables and infusion drugs for the elderly. The measure, which would reduce spending on drugs by reducing reimbursement rates for doctors, reflects growing concern about the rising cost of drugs, which is straining public health programs.

Under the Part B program, doctors and hospitals to buy a drug, and the government reimburses the average sales price plus 6 percent. But the experiment, which would in five years from this fall, would pay doctors the average selling price as well as another 2.5 percent and a flat rate of $ 16.80. Presumably, this would provide higher payments for lower-cost generic drugs.

But a March 17 letter sent to congressional leaders signed by the Community Oncology Alliance called reconditioning “wrong and reckless.” The groups wrote that “Medicare beneficiaries with life-threatening or disabling diseases would be forced to navigate an initiative of CMS that could lead to an abrupt in their treatment.” Here is the another letter which he was sent to the CMS, on May 9 by the Association to improve patient care.

Beyond the potential impact of income, the pharmaceutical industry sees this effort as a kind of litmus test to demonstrate that it has the political strength to deter other attempts to attack drug prices. In particular, drug manufacturers would want to show resistance to allow Part D Medicare to negotiate prices.

“Although it is certainly not the case that each patient group taking money industry is a great puppet Pharma, the fact that three quarters of the opposing groups patients these reforms receive money industry must make skeptical lawmakers of these groups “independence,” said Rick Claypool, director of Public Citizen research and author of the report, said in a statement.

last month, Public Citizen published an separate analysis found that lawmakers who oppose the revision of Part B of Medicare have received much more financial support to legislators who have not objected. of 310 lawmakers to be signed two letters opposing the plan or were critical of it received more than $ 7.2 million dollars from drug companies products and health campaigns 2016.

the amount allocated to each representative of an average of more than $ 23,300. At the same time, 124 joint-and-file lawmakers – 117 Democrats and seven Republicans – who does not sign any letter, received a combined total of almost $ 1.6 million in the same industry for their campaigns are averaged over 2016 $ 12,700.

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