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Civil Plaintiff

Pfizer Files Lawsuit to Reduce Cost of Copays

Pfizer’s rare heart disease med Vyndaqel, at $225,000 a year, is too pricey for many patients. To help Medicare participants afford the expensive drug—and maintain its hefty sticker price—the Big Pharma is going as far as to argue the U.S. government’s anti-kickback policy is unconstitutional.

 In a lawsuit filed in a New York district court, Pfizer questions two federal regulations that prohibit drugmakers from offering direct payments to help cover a drug’s cost or working with charity programs to direct their funding—and Medicare patients—to a particular medicine. The lawsuit comes as the Justice Department and state attorneys general clamp down on pharma’s donations to patient assistance organizations, specifically for directing their contributions to patients using their drugs. And it addresses rules that have long chafed at drugmakers with expensive medications for the 65-and-older crowd—rules that are designed to prevent pharma from incentivizing use of expensive drugs with cheaper alternatives.

If Pfizer’s argument succeeds, essentially, it would open up federal insurance programs to the sort of copay assistance drugmakers often offer to privately insured patients, particularly for pricey medications and new launches.

Read the source article at Pharma News

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