The National Renal Administrators Association sent a letter June 13 to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services outlining concerns about Amgen Inc.'s 5% price increase for their erythropoiesis stimulating agent Epogen, the NRAA said in it's weekly newsletter Renal Watch.

In the letter, the NRAA describes how the price increase will shrink already small margins for small and medium sized dialysis organizations and requests that CMS take the price increase into consideration when making their congressionally mandated adjustments to the Medicare End-Stage Renal Disease payment bundle.

"Of particular note—this is the third ESA price increase for small and mid-sized dialysis providers since the implementation of the Medicare ESRD PPS system, which results in a cumulative increase in cost of Epogen of 19% to this sector of the dialysis provider community," the letter reads.

The increase in the price of Epogen, used to treat anemia in dialysis patients, went into effect May 24. While the price increase will have a minimal affect on dialysis clinics with multi-year contracts or those that get a volume discount from Amgen, other, smaller dialysis providers with short-term contracts will feel the change in pricing. One dialysis provider told NN&I that the 5% increase would cost him $50,000 over the next 12 months.

Dowload a copy of the Amgen letter announcing the price increase

Dowload a copy of the NRAA's letter to CMS