“PCMA applauds the Administration for its work continuing the success of the Part D program. Today’s announcement shows that the 2021 and 2020 average basic premiums are the second lowest and lowest, respectively, average basic premiums in Part D since 2013. This positive trend is due in no small part to our industry’s efforts to negotiate discounts from drug companies, which has provided unprecedented access to affordable medications to America’s seniors and disabled populations.
It is therefore unfortunate and perplexing that today’s announcement comes as the Administration is attempting to revive a rebate rule that would drastically increase Part D premiums for seniors – by 25%.
Recent reports by the Government Accountability Office and Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General confirmed that PBM-negotiated rebates lower prescription drug costs in the Medicare program.
The Administration’s decision last year to withdraw the rebate rule was the right decision. This policy would do nothing to address drug prices, but instead would destabilize the successful Part D program by raising premiums for seniors while imposing nearly $400 billion in additional taxpayer costs, all at a time when federal spending is reaching record levels to counter the pandemic.
In addition, there are also serious legal issues that will need to be considered should the Administration seek to finalize a rule on rebate reform or implement changes to Part D midway through a plan year and after bids have been filed for an upcoming year.
Rather than bring back policies that threaten higher premiums for seniors, we should work together on ideas that build on the success announced by the Administration today.”
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