March 10, 2014 – Washington DC – The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) commended the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for announcing their decision to halt movement on several proposals in their Medicare Part D draft rule, including the agency’s proposal to eliminate protected class status for certain drug classes, as well as other proposals such as those related to reducing the number of Part D plans a particular plan sponsor may offer, and the proposal to clarify the non-interference provisions.
Equally importantly, BIO commends those in Congress, including members of the Senate Finance, House Energy & Commerce and House Ways & Means Committees, as well as others, who on a bipartisan basis urged CMS to withdraw either some or all of the draft rule.
If these proposals had been finalized, they would have eliminated choices for seniors, raised seniors’ premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and increased costs for taxpayers.
The following can be attributed to BIO President and CEO, Jim Greenwood:
“We applaud the Administration for withdrawing the most harmful provisions in this draft rule, and we applaud the Senate Finance Committee, House Ways and Means Committee, and the Energy and Commerce Committee in voicing strong, bipartisan opposition to the Proposed Rule, as the draft rule would have affected the most vulnerable patients. The priority must be ensuring timely access to medically necessary therapies and mitigating the risk of complications associated with an interruption of care for vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries.
“BIO has long been a strong supporter of the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit program.
“We believe that the Part D benefit has helped increase patient access to critical therapies as well as ensure that patients will be able to receive and afford the treatments that best meet their needs.
“BIO will continue to work with the Congress to encourage CMS to focus on patient access in its ongoing implementation and refinement of this important program.”
BIO is the world’s largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.BIOtechNOW is BIO’s blog chronicling “innovations transforming our world” and the BIO Newsletter is the organization’s bi-weekly email newsletter.” Subscribe to the BIO Newsletter.