The AHA today voiced support for the Recovering Excessive Funds for Unused and Needless Drugs Act (S. 551), legislation that would incentivize manufacturers to align package sizes with common dosage amounts.
 
“Currently, many common medications are packaged in sizes that do not align with the most common dosages,” AHA noted in a letter of support for the bill, sponsored by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio. “As a result, providers frequently are forced to discard the potentially tainted excess content of the package, resulting in expensive and unnecessary waste. For example, one study found that packaging size alone results in $3 billion of wasted cancer drugs each year.
 
“Your legislation would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to provide an estimate of the cost associated with discarded Medicare Part B medications and require a rebate to the Medicare Trust Fund for 90 percent of the recorded amount. In addition, Medicare beneficiaries would receive a reimbursement for their 20 percent coinsurance for the cost of the discarded drugs. This proposal would incentivize manufacturers to align package sizes with common dosage amounts, ultimately reducing waste and spending for hospitals and health systems, the federal government and Medicare beneficiaries.”

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