Biotech company Amgen Inc. is defending a provision included in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 that delays inclusion of oral drugs in the end-stage renal disease bundled payment system.

"Amgen supports the current provision to delay including oral-only medications in the Medicare dialysis prospective payment system. Including oral-only medications in the payment system at the same time that the bundle is being rebased would have been disruptive to quality patient care," the company said in a statement to The Hill.

The "fiscal cliff" bill includes directions for the Secretary of HHS to rebase the ESRD prospective payment system using drug utilization data from 2012. The secretary is also instructed to take into account the most recent data on average sales prices and other changes in prices for drugs and biologics.

"A two-year delay provides [Medicare] with the time needed to develop quality metrics and further develop their data systems — both things pivotal to providing quality patient care," Amgen told The Hill.


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