“It’s only in drugs or death we’ll see anything new, and death is just too controlling.”
– Chuck Palahniuk
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General released a proposed rule that the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) safe harbor protection for specific drug rebate programs. The proposed rule was announced on January 31, 2019, as part of the Trump administration’s endeavor to reduce the costs of prescription drugs. The administration anticipates that the elimination of the AKS safe harbor will reduce prices from the drug manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers who are, according to HHS, manipulating the system and restricting the options buyers have for affordable prescription drugs.
HHS’s proposed rule would create two new safe harbors for both PBM fees that are charged to manufacturers and for point-of-sale drug discounts offered to patients. But the AKS is thought to have a significant effect on big pharma. We will have to see what this ultimately means for your employee’s drug prices.
For information on how your company’s prescription drug plan can bypass the current “kickback” statutes, contact a BenefitCorp consultant and ask about the Vault Plan.