Senate Republicans Urge HHS to Reverse Course on Drug-Pricing Model

prescription drugs© fstop123 / Getty Images Signature / Canva

Senate Republicans, led by Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), are urging government health officials against the implementation of a drug-pricing model selected by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to complement the Administration’s prescription drug pricing scheme. 

In a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, the senators note the Accelerating Clinical Evidence Model has attracted concerns from a range of stakeholders, including patient advocates and providers, given its potential to slash reimbursement rates for drugs approved through the FDA’s Accelerated Approval Program (AAP).

The senators highlight key concerns with the model, as described in the Secretary’s report, noting, among other issues, its potential to:

  • Slash reimbursement rates for drugs approved through the FDA’s Accelerated Approval Program (AAP);
  • Further deter innovation and timely drug development by undermining the accelerated approval pathway;
  • Delay patient access to life-saving therapies by discouraging drugmakers from pursuing accelerated approval;
  • Hindering cancer care and therapeutic innovations for other conditions with insufficient treatment options;
  • Stray from the CMS’s statutory mission and purpose by supplanting FDA decision-making; and
  • Slash reimbursement rates for frontline health care providers.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

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