February 1, 2017
(Washington, D.C.) — The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) issued the following statement on a new report by a splinter group of oncologists attacking the use of direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) in the popular Medicare Part D program:
“Today’s attack on Medicare Part D plans’ tools to reduce drug costs is a thinly veiled attempt to protect certain oncologists’ profits at the expense of patients and the Medicare program itself. It’s no secret they prefer Medicare Part B’s fee-for-service approach, which according to MedPAC, gives providers ‘incentives for use of higher priced drugs when lower priced alternatives exist.’
DIR reduces premiums for Medicare Part D beneficiaries, which leads to lower costs for the federal government. Stable and affordable premiums contribute to a 90% satisfaction rate among Part D enrollees for their drug plan.
Furthermore, the paper’s dubious claim that DIR in Part D contribute to higher drug prices raises an obvious question: why are drug prices so high in Medicare Part B?
In reality, Part D plans reduce costs not only by negotiating price concessions on brand and generic drugs, but also by lowering premiums, which reduces costs for all Medicare beneficiaries as well as U.S. taxpayers.”