Association of Community Cancer Centers, et al. v. Azar II, et al.
Association of Community Cancer Centers, et al. v. Azar II, et al. (U.S. District Court, District of Maryland, December 23, 2020): A federal court blocked the Trump administration’s recently issued “Most-Favored Nation Rule.” It sought to implement a new Medicare payment model to control Medicare spending by (1) aligning payment for Medicare Part B drugs with international pricing and (2) removing incentives to use more expensive drugs. The court found that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rushed to finalize the rule without providing the notice and public comment period required under the Administrative Procedure Act. While acknowledging that controlling drug costs is an important objective, the court rejected CMS’s argument that it had “good cause” to bypass public comment and found that the Centers relied “more on speculation than on evidence” that the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated dispensing with notice and comment procedures. Read the decision here.