Letter to the Editor

Grandparents Day reminds us to value older Americans

Friday, September 10, 2021

Sept. 12 is Grandparents Day and families are hoping to make up for time lost to the pandemic. We are more aware than ever that time together is precious. Thatís why a new trend in prescription drug pricing has us concerned.

Many policymakers, including those working on Medicare, have turned to a group called the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review to put a price on prescription drugs. ICER ó an organization heavily funded by Enron billionaire John Arnold ó claims its method saves money, but the formula relies on cutting access to treatment for those who need it most.

Part of ICERís formula includes a measurement known as the Quality-Adjusted Life Year. Unfortunately, QALY-based analyses have been used by many foreign countries to ration health care for people with disabilities and those who are older or sicker. So far, the U.S. government has not allowed QALY-based coverage policies in Medicare and Medicaid, but ICER is lobbying Congress to change our laws and put ICER in charge of deciding the value of our loved onesí medications.

You canít put a price on extra time with loved ones. Donít let ICERís supporters change that.