Trump administration backs off Medicare drug pricing rule - (The Hill via NewsPoints Desk)

  • The administration of US President Donald Trump has withdrawn support for Medicare a rule that would have permitted insurers to terminate coverage for drugs whose prices rise faster than the rate of inflation, The Hill reported.

  • In a final rule, the administration elected to leave the current policy permitting "protected classes" of drugs to remain in place.

  • The proposal was opposed by patient advocacy groups, which argued that the rule could affect access to therapy.

  • The administration "remains concerned that prescription drug companies are offering seniors in Medicare substantially smaller discounts for protected class drugs than are offered in the commercial market," commented Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma.

  • The administration also announced that it will allow private Medicare plans to use the controversial policies prior authorization and step therapy that require patients to use cheaper drugs before moving to more expensive ones regardless of what their doctors prescribe.

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