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Schrader, Guthrie, Mullin Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Access to Rare Disease Treatments and Cures

Today, U.S. Representatives Kurt Schrader (OR-05), Brett Guthrie (KY-02), and Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) introduced the Medicaid VBPs for Patients (MVP) Act. This bipartisan legislation would help facilitate patient access to high-cost drugs by decreasing barriers to value-based purchasing (VBP) arrangements in Medicaid.  
 
“Value based arrangements provide a path forward for rewarding new innovation and increasing market access to rare disease treatments and cures,” Rep. Schrader said. “This commonsense legislation will finally hold manufacturers accountable for their products, so that payment is only based on whether the treatment delivers the desired and predetermined outcome. The bill will help reduce the red tape that prevents such arrangements while also preserving the traditional drug pricing discounts in Medicaid. If they can do it in the private sector, we should be able to do it in the government system.”
 
“I’m proud to be part of this game-changing legislation that reforms Medicaid to help vulnerable populations receive access to life-saving therapies,” Rep. Guthrie said. “The Medicaid VBPs for Patients Act ties the cost of a treatment directly to patient outcomes. This innovative payment model would give Medicaid beneficiaries greater access to life-saving and potential curative treatments, while also ensuring states are not on the hook for expensive and ineffective treatments.  I will continue to use my background in business and current role as the Republican Leader of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee to put forward innovative and cost-effective solutions to improve health care for patients.”
 
“Value-based payment models will open the door to more innovation and cures for patients,” Rep. Mullin said. “This legislation will encourage companies to continue making innovative treatments and let payors and consumers reimburse them based on the treatment’s outcome. For too long, policy has not caught up with reality and it’s the patients who are suffering the consequences. Drug developers are taking extraordinary risks to invest in these groundbreaking therapies, which could easily cost millions of dollars per patient once they reach the market. Without an affordable way for payors to purchase these sometimes curative drugs, it will be nearly impossible for patients to access them. Instead of stifling innovation and competition by price setting, let’s start paying for value.”
 
Value based payment arrangements are a critical component of a modernized reimbursement system. However, the current payment system for drugs in Medicaid was not designed to accommodate the development of hundreds of new lifesaving treatments which come at a high price. These include gene therapies, treatments that are often administered only once, and many are first-time treatments for diseases that otherwise have fatal diagnoses. 
 
While many of these treatments have delivered on their promises in the form of treating severe symptoms and even curing rare diseases, the shared risk model between Medicaid and the manufacturers will ensure value is being delivered and that patients have access to them by establishing outcomes based payment agreements. Keeping Medicaid up to speed with modern medicine is critical for patients that have the unfortunate burden of a rare disease.