Annual Report 2022

Annual Report 2022

Government Pricing and Reimbursement Programs for Marketed Drugs in the U.S.

Medicaid, the 340B Drug Pricing Program, and Medicare

Federal law requires that a pharmaceutical manufacturer, as a condition of having its products receive federal reimbursement under Medicaid and Medicare Part B, must pay rebates to state Medicaid programs for all units of its covered outpatient drugs dispensed to Medicaid beneficiaries and paid for by a state Medicaid program under either a fee-for-service arrangement or through a managed care organization. This federal requirement is effectuated through a Medicaid drug rebate agreement between the manufacturer and the Secretary of U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administers the Medicaid drug rebate agreements, which provide, among other things, that the drug manufacturer will pay rebates to each state Medicaid agency on a quarterly basis and report certain price information on a monthly and quarterly basis. The rebates are based on prices reported to CMS by manufacturers for their covered outpatient drugs. For non-innovator products, generally generic drugs marketed under abbreviated NDAs, the rebate amount is 13% of the average manufacturer price (AMP) for the quarter. The AMP is the weighted average of prices paid to the manufacturer (1) directly by retail community pharmacies and (2) by wholesalers for drugs distributed to retail community pharmacies. For innovator products (i.e., drugs that are marketed under NDAs or BLAs), the rebate amount is the greater of 23.1% of the AMP for the quarter or the difference between such AMP and the best price for that same quarter. The best price is essentially the lowest price available to non-governmental entities. Innovator products may also be subject to an additional rebate that is based on the amount, if any, by which the product’s AMP for a given quarter exceeds the inflation-adjusted baseline AMP, which for most drugs is the AMP for the first full quarter after launch. Since 2017, non-innovator products are also subject to an additional rebate. To date, the rebate amount for a drug has been capped at 100% of the AMP; however, effective January 1, 2024, this cap will be eliminated, which means that a manufacturer could pay a rebate amount on a unit of the drug that is greater than the average price the manufacturer receives for the drug.

The terms of participation in the Medicaid drug rebate program impose an obligation to correct the prices reported in previous quarters, as may be necessary. Any such corrections could result in additional or lesser rebate liability, depending on the direction of the correction. In addition to retroactive rebates, if a manufacturer were found to have knowingly submitted false information to the government, federal law provides for civil monetary penalties for failing to provide required information, late submission of required information, and false information.

A manufacturer must also participate in a federal program known as the 340B drug pricing program in order for federal funds to be available to pay for the manufacturer’s drugs under Medicaid and Medicare Part B. Under this program, the participating manufacturer agrees to charge certain safety net healthcare providers no more than an established discounted price for its covered outpatient drugs. The formula for determining the discounted price is defined by statute and is based on the AMP and the unit rebate amount as calculated under the Medicaid drug rebate program, discussed above. Manufacturers are required to report pricing information to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) on a quarterly basis. HRSA has also issued regulations relating to the calculation of the ceiling price as well as imposition of civil monetary penalties for each instance of knowingly and intentionally overcharging a 340B covered entity.

Federal law also requires that manufacturers report data on a quarterly basis to CMS regarding the pricing of drugs that are separately reimbursable under Medicare Part B. These are generally drugs, such as injectable products, that are administered incident to a physician service and are not generally self-administered. The pricing information submitted by manufacturers is the basis for reimbursement to physicians and suppliers for drugs covered under Medicare Part B. As with the Medicaid drug rebate program, federal law provides for civil monetary penalties for failing to provide required information, late submission of required information, and false information.

Recently, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, effective January 1, 2023, added a requirement for manufacturers of certain single-source drugs (including biologics and biosimilars) separately paid for under Medicare Part B for at least 18 months and marketed in single-dose containers or packages (known as refundable single-dose containers or single-use package drugs) to provide annual refunds if those portions of the dispensed drug that are unused and discarded exceed an applicable percentage defined by statute or regulation. Manufacturers will be subject to periodic audits and those that fail to pay refunds for their refundable single-dose containers or single-use package drugs shall be subject to civil monetary penalties.

Medicare Part D provides prescription drug benefits for seniors and people with disabilities. Medicare Part D enrollees once had a gap in their coverage (between the initial coverage limit and the point at which catastrophic coverage begins) where Medicare did not cover their prescription drug costs, known as the coverage gap. However, beginning in 2019, Medicare Part D enrollees paid 25% of brand drug costs after they reached the initial coverage limit – the same percentage they were responsible for before they reached that limit – thereby closing the coverage gap from the enrollee’s point of view. Most of the cost of closing the coverage gap is being borne by innovator companies and the government through subsidies. Each manufacturer of drugs approved under NDAs or BLAs is required to enter into a Medicare Part D coverage gap discount agreement and provide a 70% discount on those drugs dispensed to Medicare Part D enrollees in the coverage gap, in order for its drugs to be reimbursed by Medicare Part D. Beginning in 2025, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) eliminates the coverage gap under Medicare Part D by significantly lowering the enrollee maximum out-of-pocket cost and requiring manufacturers to subsidize, through a newly established manufacturer discount program, 10% of Part D enrollees’ prescription costs for brand drugs below the out-of-pocket maximum, and 20% once the out-of-pocket maximum has been reached. Although these discounts represent a lower percentage of enrollees’ costs than the current discounts required below the out-of-pocket maximum (that is, in the coverage gap phase of Part D coverage), the new manufacturer contribution required above the out-of-pocket maximum could be considerable for very high-cost patients and the total contributions by manufacturers to a Part D enrollee’s drug expenses may exceed those currently provided.

The IRA will also allow HHS to negotiate the selling price of certain drugs and biologics that CMS reimburses under Medicare Part B and Part D, although only high-expenditure single-source biologics that have been approved for at least 11 years (7 years for drugs) can be selected by CMS for negotiation, with the negotiated price taking effect two years after the selection year. The negotiated prices, which will first become effective in 2026, will be capped at a statutory ceiling price. Beginning in October 2022 for Medicare Part D and January 2023 for Medicare Part B, the IRA will also penalize drug manufacturers that increase prices of Medicare Part D and Part B drugs at a rate greater than the rate of inflation.

U.S. Federal Contracting and Pricing Requirements

Manufacturers are also required to make their covered drugs, which are generally drugs approved under NDAs or BLAs, available to authorized users of the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) of the General Services Administration. The law also requires manufacturers to offer deeply discounted FSS contract pricing for purchases of their covered drugs by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, the Coast Guard, and the Public Health Service (including the Indian Health Service) in order for federal funding to be available for reimbursement or purchase of the manufacturer’s drugs under certain federal programs. FSS pricing to those four federal agencies for covered drugs must be no more than the Federal Ceiling Price (FCP), which is at least 24% below the Non-Federal Average Manufacturer Price (Non-FAMP) for the prior year. The Non-FAMP is the average price for covered drugs sold to wholesalers or other middlemen, net of any price reductions.

The accuracy of a manufacturer’s reported Non-FAMPs, FCPs, or FSS contract prices may be audited by the government. Among the remedies available to the government for inaccuracies is recoupment of any overcharges to the four specified federal agencies based on those inaccuracies. If a manufacturer were found to have knowingly reported false prices, in addition to other penalties available to the government, the law provides for significant civil monetary penalties per incorrect item. Finally, manufacturers are required to disclose in FSS contract proposals all commercial pricing that is equal to or less than the proposed FSS pricing, and subsequent to award of an FSS contract, manufacturers are required to monitor certain commercial price reductions and extend commensurate price reductions to the government, under the terms of the FSS contract Price Reductions Clause. Among the remedies available to the government for any failure to properly disclose commercial pricing and/or to extend FSS contract price reductions is recoupment of any FSS overcharges that may result from such omissions.