Potentially Ridiculous Decision

I’m trapped in Boston waiting to get home due to the snow storm last night.  While I am waiting, the guy sitting a few chairs away from me was talking on the phone to a reporter.  If what he said is true, it’s a massive step backwards.

He said that CMS is no longer going to allow Medicare Part D plans to charge more for multi-source brands (MSBs).  These are brand drugs that have a generic equivalent (i.e., they are the same drugs based on active ingredients).  This would be a massive win for pharma since the manufacturers typically drive the price up after patent expiration so that they can make as much money as possible on the people that continue to use these drugs.

In most cases, these drugs are immediately moved to the 3rd tier of the formulary while the generic version is placed on the first tier.  This allows people to get them, but they have to pay more.  If CMS doesn’t allow this anymore, it will create lots of potential waste and be a big step backwards for all the progress we have made around generics.


3 Responses to “Potentially Ridiculous Decision”

  1. George Van Antwerp Reply January 13, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    In case you didn’t see it, the WSJ on Monday (1/12) had a story about this – “Medicare Seeks to Ban Some Penalties for Picking Brand Name Drugs”. So, apparently, it is Bush selling out on his way out of office. Obama’s team only has a few months to fix this so let’s hope it hits someone’s radar.

  2. GVA – I heard something in this regard on NPR the other day about part d revised reimubursements. Does not sound good

  3. I watched the re-run of Thursday’s Senate Confirmation hearing for Daschle and – I could be mistaken – but I thought I heard something about Medicare Part D. One of the congressmen was asking Daschle about his opinion but I don’t recall the details.

    You can view the video re-broadcast at http://www.cspan.org/Watch/watch.aspx?MediaId=HP-A-14054

    Hope that helps.

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