NTU Statement on Possible Most Favored Nation Regulation

National Taxpayers Union (NTU) President Pete Sepp issued the following statement on reports that the Trump Administration will once again attempt to implement a Most Favored Nation (MFN) demonstration project for prescription drug payments in Medicare Part B:

“National Taxpayers Union has been strongly opposed to every version of the Administration’s proposal to tie drug prices in Medicare to the price controls of foreign governments. But reporting on this latest and possibly final iteration of the Most Favored Nation plan raises new and significant concerns.”

“Recent versions of the MFN proposal, and its sister proposal the International Pricing Index (IPI), have extended this price-fixing scheme beyond Medicare Part B and to the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit enjoyed by tens of millions of American seniors. Although reports indicate that this interim final rule might only impact Part B, the Administration’s policy whiplash is unhelpful for patients and taxpayers. It also represents clear evidence that this plan, in any iteration, lacks a coherent strategy or direction. For that reason alone the Administration should abandon its pursuits.”

“NTU is also deeply troubled that the Administration may rely on an interim final rule to implement MFN. NTU has long spoken out against the nearly-unchecked growth of the federal regulatory state, and we have applauded several of this Administration’s deregulatory initiatives. Implementing one of the most significant changes to Medicare in the program’s history, through a process that skips the public comment period for regulations in the waning months of an administration, during an unprecedented pandemic and economic crisis, runs counter not only to the Administration’s deregulatory efforts but also to NTU’s decades-long push to create a government that is more accountable and responsive to taxpayers.”

“Lastly, several media reports have suggested that this proposal may be a way of exacting payback against certain pharmaceutical manufacturers for the timing of their recent COVID-19 vaccine trial announcements. We would certainly hope this is not the case. If true, then taxpayers and, indeed, all Americans will likely view it as a startling and troubling abuse of government power. Even the slightest appearance that the federal bureaucracy is being unleashed against American businesses as political punishment should be off-limits and off the table.”