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In the latest move to address prescription drug pricing, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission unanimously approved three recommendations to address the cost of certain medicines covered by the program.

One recommendation is to lower prices for drugs that were endorsed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under its accelerated approval program but for which a clinical benefit was not confirmed. Another would allow the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to bundle similar drugs into a shared payment system. And the third would replace a long-standing payment formula for physicians.


The recommendations will now be formally forwarded to Congress in June, although there is no formal mechanism that requires Congress to take action. MedPAC, as the commission is known, is an independent congressional agency that was established a quarter of a century ago to advise Congress on issues affecting the Medicare program.

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