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CMS Takes Action to Lower Drug Prices

Posted on Thursday, August 9, 2018 3:34 PM

This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made progress towards delivering on President Trump’s promise to negotiate better deals for Medicare patients and create competition between drugs used to treat the same conditions, with more than half the savings required to be passed on to the patient.   

For the first time, CMS will also give Medicare Advantage plans (private health insurance plans that provide Medicare benefits to a third of all beneficiaries) the opportunity to negotiate Part B drugs in a way that will lower cost and improve care.  Medicare Advantage plans that also offer a Part D benefit will be able to cross-manage across Part B and Part D, so that patients receive the best medicine whether it is physician-administered or self-administered.

“President Trump promised better Medicare negotiation and lower drug prices for the American people. Today, we are taking an important step in delivering on that promise,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “As soon as next year, drug prices can start coming down for many of the 20 million seniors on Medicare Advantage, with more than half of the savings going to patients. Consumers will always retain the power to choose the plan that works for them: If they don’t like their plan, they don’t have to keep it. We look forward to seeing the results of tougher negotiation within Medicare, and expanding successful negotiation tools throughout our programs.”

“Under the President’s leadership, for the first time ever, CMS is bringing negotiations to physician-administered drugs and delivering on our promise to lower drug prices for patients,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “For too long, Medicare Advantage plans have not had the tools to negotiate a better deal for patients. Today we begin lifting those barriers so plans can use private-sector tools to drive down the cost of expensive drugs while also offering new care coordination and drug adherence programs, to ensure that patients are getting high quality care at lower cost.”

Click here for the full press release.

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