Pharma Products' Uncertain Path To Patient Assistance

By Jennifer Michael (May 16, 2022, 4:48 PM EDT) -- The government and pharmaceutical manufacturers have taken opposing sides on an issue that pits the welfare of individual beneficiaries against the sustainability of the Medicare program as a whole.

The rapidly increasing costs of prescription drugs have caused Medicare beneficiaries to become more dependent than ever on patient assistance programs, or PAPs, which provide financial assistance for cost-sharing obligations.[1]

The government has taken the position that, although lawfully structured PAPs can help individual beneficiaries access the medicines they need, PAPs eliminate an important cost control feature "inherent to the Medicare Part D drug benefit design," including in a March 25 appellate...

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