Oncologists warn Congress cancer care held hostage by rebuilding better drug pricing arrangements

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COA urges technical fixes to remove medics from mid-negotiations and end BBB’s unintended collateral damage to U.S. cancer system

Doctors and their patients should not be held hostage by the BBB as it is currently drafted.

– Ted Okon, COA

WASHINGTON, DC, USA, Nov 15, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ – The Community Oncology Alliance (COA), a national non-profit organization representing independent oncology practices and the patients they serve, warns the Congress that the way the drug pricing provisions in the current Build Back Better (BBB) ​​bill are implemented threatens the cancer care system and needs to be corrected.

COA calls on Congress to amend the BBB with technical fixes so that cancer care providers are not held hostage in drug price negotiations between the government and drug makers. The drug pricing provisions in the current BBB bill are implemented in such a way that oncologists and other physicians administering chemotherapy and similar specialty drugs in Medicare Part B are placed in the midst of negotiations over drug prices between government and drug manufacturers.

Without correcting the BBB, Medicare reimbursement for drugs will be lower than the acquisition cost, while also having a negative impact on commercial reimbursement, which is simply not sustainable. The bill will have the unintended consequences of fueling independent practice closures, bringing more care into the much more expensive hospital setting and reducing access to patients, especially in rural or underserved areas.

“Doctors and their patients should not be held hostage by the BBB as it is currently written,” said Ted Okon, executive director of the COA, and stressed that the BBB law would have dire consequences if it were not was not corrected. “Cancer patients have been the real victims of nearly two decades of federal policy making that decimated our nation’s community oncology system. In some communities, there is no longer a low-cost, high-quality independent oncology practice, but instead, patients are forced into the much more expensive hospital system. The irony should not escape anyone that while the BBB tries to bring down the prices of drugs for Americans with cancer and other diseases, the way it is implemented will do the exact opposite – increase the costs of drugs. medications. “

The COA calls on Congress to correct the BBB by requiring drug manufacturers to reimburse the government directly for additional costs in excess of the negotiated price or the “maximum fair price” (MFP). This creates a direct transaction between government and drug makers, without putting unnecessary pressure on independent physicians, such as community oncology practices, who are already struggling to provide high-quality, affordable cancer care to patients in their communities. communities across the country. Any tariff concession should be exempted from the calculation of the average selling price (AVP) by manufacturers so that supplier payment rates are not artificially reduced. Including them risks a lethal repayment spiral to unsustainable levels.

Oncologists wholeheartedly agree that the cost of cancer care in the United States is too high and support efforts to fix the system. This should include tackling unsustainable prices for cancer treatments and adjunctive therapies, the destructive impact of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and enthusiastic support for efforts to reform the delivery of cancer care. However, Congress must be careful with the unintended consequences of poorly written technical language in major legislation.

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About the Community Oncology Alliance: The majority of Americans battling cancer receive treatment through community oncology. Keeping patients close to their homes, families and support networks reduces the impact of this devastating disease. Community-based oncology practices do this while providing cutting-edge, high-quality cancer care at a fraction of the cost of a hospital setting. The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) advocates for community oncology and smart public policies that ensure the community cancer care system remains healthy and able to provide all Americans with access to local cancer care, quality and affordable. Learn more at www.CommunityOncology.org. Follow COA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/oncologieCOA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CommunityOncologyAlliance.

Nicolas ferreyros
Community Alliance in Oncology
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