The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, or MMA, imposed requirements for the distribution and pricing of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries. Under Part D, Medicare beneficiaries may enroll in prescription drug plans offered by private entities, which will provide coverage of outpatient prescription drugs. Part D plans include both stand-alone prescription drug benefit plans and prescription drug coverage as a supplement to Medicare Advantage plans. Unlike Medicare Part A and B, Part D coverage is not standardized. Part D prescription drug plan sponsors are not required to pay for all covered Part D drugs, and each drug plan can develop its own drug formulary that identifies which drugs it will cover and at what tier or level. However, Part D prescription drug formularies must include drugs within each therapeutic category and class of covered Part D drugs, though not necessarily all the drugs in each category or class. Any formulary used by a Part D prescription drug plan must be developed and reviewed by a pharmacy and therapeutic committee. Government payment for some of the costs of prescription drugs may increase demand for our products for which we receive marketing approval. However, any negotiated prices for our products covered by a Part D prescription drug plan will likely be lower than the prices we might otherwise obtain. Moreover, while the MMA applies only to drug benefits for Medicare beneficiaries, private payors often follow Medicare coverage policy and payment limitations in setting their own payment rates. Any reduction in payment that results from the MMA may result in a similar reduction in payments from non-governmental payors.
The process for determining whether a payor will provide coverage for a product is typically separate from the process for setting the reimbursement rate a payor will pay for the product. Third-party payors may limit coverage to specific products on an approved list or formulary, which may not include all FDA-approved products for a particular indication. Also, third-party payors may refuse to include a particular branded product on their formularies or otherwise restrict patient access to a branded drug when a less costly generic equivalent or other alternative is available. Furthermore, a payor’s decision to provide coverage for a product does not imply an adequate reimbursement rate will be available. Adequate third-party reimbursement may not be available to enable us to maintain price levels sufficient to realize an appropriate return on our investment in product development.
Third-party payors are increasingly challenging the price and examining the medical necessity and cost-effectiveness of medical products and services. Additionally, the containment of healthcare costs has become a priority of federal and state governments, and the prices of therapeutics have been a focus in this effort. The U.S. government, state legislatures, and foreign governments have shown significant interest in implementing cost-containment programs, including price controls, restrictions on reimbursement, and requirements for substitution of generic products. Adoption of price controls and cost-containment measures, and adoption of more restrictive policies in jurisdictions with existing controls and measures, could further limit our net revenue and results. Our drug candidates may not be considered medically necessary or cost-effective. If third-party payors do not consider a product to be cost-effective compared to other available therapies, they may not cover an approved product as a benefit under their plans or, if they do, the level of payment may not be sufficient to allow us to sell our products at a profit.
Further, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides funding for the federal government to compare the effectiveness of different treatments for the same illness. The plan for the research was published in 2012 by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, or AHRQ, and the National Institutes for Health, and periodic reports on the status of the research and related expenditures will be made to the U.S. Congress. In addition, the ACA requires, among other things, that AHRQ broadly disseminate findings from federally funded comparative clinical effectiveness research. Although the results of the comparative effectiveness studies are not intended to mandate coverage policies for public or private payors, it is not clear what effect, if any, the research will have on the sales of our therapeutic candidates if any such therapeutic, or the condition that it is intended to treat, is the subject of a study. It is also possible that comparative effectiveness research demonstrating benefits in a competitor’s product could adversely affect the sales of our therapeutic candidates.
In addition, other legislative changes have been proposed and adopted in the United States since the ACA was enacted. On August 2, 2011, the Budget Control Act of 2011 among other things, created measures for spending reductions by the U.S. Congress. A Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, tasked with recommending a targeted deficit reduction of at least $1.2 trillion for the years 2013 through 2021, was unable to reach required