Thursday, December 17, 2020

Very Brief Blog: CMS Files Motion to Dismiss PhRMA's Injunction Against Drug Pricing Cuts for 2021

 A couple weeks ago, CMS announced a massive shift downwards in the prices it pays for Part B drugs (my blog here).   PhRMA and co-plaintiffs ask the court to stop it, on administrative and statutory, even constitutional, grounds.   

On December 15, CMS predictably filed a motion to dismiss.  Find it here.  

As is usual in these cases, the government offers a series of reasons why the case is void.  First, the claims are barred from judicial review, for two reasons.  One, it lacks a legitimate claim of harm (no claims have been filed yet).  Second, Congress barred judicial review of Innovation Center programs.   

If the plaintiffs did have standing, then the claims are without merit.  The new pricing program was within statutory authority.  No constitutional claim is valid.

Further, CMS argues, "plaintiffs have failed to establish irreparable harm" in their pleading, so a restraining order would be excessive at this time.