CMS backs off Part D revision

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The proposal to reduce the number of drugs Medicare Part D has to cover among certain classes is dead. CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner sent a note to Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) Monday saying that her agency would no longer pursue the change based on stakeholder feedback, or, as Politico described it, “withering criticism from the industry, patient advocacy groups and lawmakers.”

Waxman is the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

CMS issued the proposal in January. The aim was to limit the options in three drug classes, for cost control reasons, but the financial argument was as much an industry irritant as it was a political one.

Modern Healthcare described Monday's move as “political cover ahead of the mid-term elections,” and noted that the overall draft, which included this Medicare Part D drug proposal was “universally panned.”

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