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On behalf of 50 million Americans affected by autoimmune diseases, the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association is concerned that the Administration may issue an Executive Order that references international drug prices in setting prices for medicines in American health care.  AARDA is fully committed to lowering the cost of health care, including prescription drugs, so that every person has affordable access to the treatments they need to live full and healthy lives.

For the past year or so, proposals to bend the curve in spending on medicines have included various methods for referencing prices paid in the United States for prescription medicines to those set by the health care systems in other developed countries. This approach is evidently appealing for its simplicity and ease of application to spending under Medicare Part B and other insurance  programs. Yet, it is not a direction that we can support as advocates for patients and their families.

AARDA recognizes that prices set by other countries reflect very different, often discriminatory models for health care that often deny or delay coverage for medicines currently available to Americans with autoimmune diseases. AARDA and other patient groups understand that many of the IPI reference nations employ QALYs in their calculations for health care coverage, value and cost which is highly discriminatory towards people with chronic conditions and disabilities.

AARDA applauds efforts to improve access and reduce costs for autoimmune patients and all Americans. But referencing foreign pricing in lifeline programs for patients, including Medicare Part B, puts them at risk for managing their health. AARDA urges the Administration and other policymakers to avoid IPI as a cost-savings strategy. From a patient perspective, IPI is not an equitable, effective, nor viable approach for truly promoting health and well-being for those with and without pre-existing conditions, while achieving savings in health care spending.

AARDA encourages the Administration and others to honor the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and acknowledge the struggle facing patients with autoimmune and chronic conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and strained economy by avoiding IPI and its inherent inequities and discrimination, as a strategy for improving America’s health care system.

AARDA is eager to continue to serve as a patient resource to the Administration, Congress and others in promoting reforms that improve access and affordability in Medicare and across the healthcare eco-system to achieve optimal health outcomes for all Americans through effective use of resources and system’s design.

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