HHS Pushes Back on Accumulator Ruling, Prompting Wait-and-See Situation

Almost two months after a U.S. district court judge struck down a federal rule allowing health plans to not count copayment assistance against members’ out-of-pocket costs, ruling in favor of patient advocacy groups in a lawsuit against HHS, the agency has signaled that it will not — at least for the time being — take action against plans based on how they treat that assistance. The agency in a recent court filing also said it plans to issue rulemaking in response to the September ruling and requested feedback from the judge on his decision. Shortly thereafter, the plaintiffs appealed the government’s move.

To help patients pay for pricy therapies — usually specialty drugs — pharmaceutical manufacturers offer assistance that can help cover their out-of-pocket costs. Companies claim that the assistance helps improve patient adherence to medications that often treat rare and deadly conditions. But critics of them say such programs incentivize drugmakers to raise prices of these agents.

Angela Maas

Angela Maas

Angela has an extensive background of editing, reporting and writing for trade and consumer publications. She has written Radar on Specialty Pharmacy (formerly called Specialty Pharmacy News) since she joined AIS Health in 2005 and has broad knowledge of the various issues at play within the space. Before joining AIS Health, she was managing editor at Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit News Canada and managing editor at HemAware (a hemophilia publication), Lupus Living and Momentum (a multiple sclerosis publication). She has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in British literature from Arizona State University.

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