HHS Floats Trio of Drug Pricing Models, Some More Ambitious Than Others

In response to an executive order issued last fall, HHS recently unveiled three new prescription drug pricing models that it wants the CMS Innovation Center to test. The models — which target low-cost generics, cell and gene therapies and drugs that received accelerated approval — are likely to diverge considerably when it comes to industry reception and likelihood of speedy implementation, experts say.

“One of the things I really like about the three models that have been proposed is that they touch on really different aspects of affordability and access, and different programs that CMS oversees,” says Stacie Dusetzina, Ph.D., a health policy professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “So it was encouraging to me to see, for example, a model that was focused on gene and cell therapies and Medicaid programs, in addition to two very different groups within the Medicare programs: one being high-cost drugs approved through accelerated approval, and the other being drugs that we typically think of as being low-cost, but that maybe we could be…making more affordable to seniors — including high-value generic drugs offered on Part D.”

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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