Lori Gardner, Senior Director
Membership and Public Relations
301.984.9496 ext. 226
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Dec 23, 2020
Washington, D.C. (December 23, 2020)— A federal court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services from implementing its Most Favored Nation (MFN) Interim Final Rule on January 1, 2021.
The TRO is part of a lawsuit filed December 4, 2020 by the Association of Community Cancer Centers (ACCC), the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the Global Colon Cancer Association (GCCA) and National Infusion Center Association (NICA). This lawsuit was filed asserting that the MFN Interim Final Rule exceeds the statutory authority provided to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, raises serious constitutional questions and improperly fails to follow required rulemaking procedures.
Today’s decision prevents the government from implementing the rule on January 1, 2021, as planned, and allows time for the court to hear arguments on permanently blocking the rule. In the meantime, three other cases challenging the rule have been filed in different courts and may be decided in the next few weeks.
ACCC is encouraged by this ruling. Addressing healthcare costs, including cancer care, is a necessary effort. However, major changes to Medicare’s drug coverage should only be undertaken with careful consideration as to how patient access to care will be impacted. Lowering Medicare Part B reimbursement rates, without addressing the need to increase reimbursement for services, will result in Medicare beneficiaries unable to receive essential care and treatment.
ACCC President Dr. Randall A. Oyer stated:
“This a temporary victory for cancer patients and providers yet we still have a way to go. It is important that any policies enacted don’t limit our ability to serve patients and their families. Poorly designed policies such as MFN can have devastating impacts on patients, particular those in rural and underserved areas who are vulnerable to changes that will limit the care they receive.”
ACCC Executive Director Christian G. Downs stated:
“On January 1, Medicare beneficiaries and their cancer care team would have faced chaos, confusion and disruption had this Temporary Restraining Order not been granted. We will continue to work with our partners in this action and all the other stakeholders fighting to stop this rule from going into effect. The MFN Rule is the greatest threat to the cancer care delivery infrastructure in 50 years.”
For more information from ACCC on this ongoing litigation, please review the Most Favored Nation Drug Pricing Model on our website: https://www.accc-cancer.org/home/advocate/most-favored-nation-drug-pricing-model