Bill To Overturn Delay In Bundling Oral-Only Drugs For ESRD Introduced
This article was originally published in The Pink Sheet Daily
Rep. Peter Welch introduces a bill that would overturn a provision in the American Taxpayer Relief Act delaying the bundling of oral-only drugs for ESRD treatment, such as Amgen’s Sensipar, until 2016.
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The Congressional Budget Office projects it will be less expensive for Medicare Part D to continue covering oral drugs used in treating end-stage renal disease because market forces will drive down costs once generic competition arrives in 2014, rather than include them in the Part B bundled payment for ESRD treatment.
In legislation passed by both chambers of Congress Jan. 1, the cost of a one-year reprieve from sharp cuts to Medicare physician payments, scheduled to begin in 2013, would be offset by a reduction in Medicare’s bundled payment for end-stage renal disease. The reduced payment would take into account a drop in the use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents observed over the last several years.
A Government Accountability Office report finds that use of erthryopoiesis-stimulating agents in dialysis decreased 31% from 2007 to the end of 2011 after Medicare’s bundled dialysis payment was changed to include drugs and FDA revised dosing recommendations.