National Minority Quality Forum Announces Support for Government Noninterference in Drug Price Negotiations

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Minority Quality Forum (The Forum) announces today its support for government noninterference in drug price negotiations for Medicare Part D. A provision of the Social Security Act prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services from interfering in the negotiations between drug manufacturers, pharmacies, and sponsors of prescription drug plans (PDPs) involved in Part D of Medicare, or from requiring a particular formulary or price structure for covered Part D drugs.  The Forum continues to support this approach.

Proponents of empowering the Secretary to negotiate drug prices say repealing the non-interference provision will reduce prescription drug cost for Part D. There is no evidence to support their opinion, particularly in light of a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report. (CBO was created by Congress to provide nonpartisan, objective analysis to inform the legislative process.)  The CBO report states “…modifying the noninterference provision would have a negligible effect on federal spending because we anticipate that under the bill the Secretary would lack the leverage to negotiate prices across the broad range of covered Part D drugs that are more favorable than those obtained by PDPs under current law. Without the authority to establish a formulary or other tools to reduce drug prices, we believe that the Secretary would not obtain significant discounts from drug manufacturers across a broad range of drugs.”  Read more