The Biden administration has announced the first 10 drugs which will be subject to price negotiations in an effort to slash Medicare costs.
The New York Times reported that the medications include:
- Eliquis – stroke and blood clot prevention made by Bristol Myers Squibb and Pfizer
- Jardiance – Type 2 diabetes and heart failure treatment made by Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly
- Xarelto – stroke and blood clot prevention made by Johnson & Johnson
- Januvia – Type 2 diabetes treatment made by Merck
- Farxiga – chronic kidney disease treatment made by AstraZeneca
- Entresto – heart failure treatment made by Novartis
- Enbrel – arthritis and autoimmune treatment made by Amgen
- Imbruvica – blood cancer treatment made by AbbVie and Johnson & Johnson
- Stelara – Chron’s disease treatment made by Johnson & Johnson
- Fiasp and NovoLog – insulin from Novo Nordisk
This is the first time that the government will negotiate with the drug manufacturers, The Associated Press reported.
It was part of Congress’ passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022, the Times reported.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will negotiate for the lowest maximum fair price of the listed medications. Right now, pharmacy benefit managers negotiate rebates of drug prices, that may help consumers pay for coverage, but not what they pay when they pick up their medications, the AP reported.
While patients applaud the move to cut costs, Republican lawmakers and the drugmakers themselves have criticized the plan.
Several groups have already planned to file lawsuits to fight the initiative including complaints filed by Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America lobbying group.
The drug costs issue is a centerpiece of President Joe Biden’s reelection platform, the AP reported.
The CMS has a goal “to basically make drugs more affordable while still allowing for profits to be made,” Gretchen Jacobson, a researcher at Commonwealth Fund, told the AP.
The negotiations are estimated to save the government $98.5 billion in a decade, The New York Times reported.
If a company refuses to negotiate, they will be heavily taxed.
The Commonwealth Fund examines issues with healthcare.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates that more than 52 million people who are 65 or older or have severe disabilities or illnesses get their prescription coverage through Medicare Part D. But the Commonwealth Fund found that 9% of Medicare beneficiaries 65 or older in 2021 did not fill a prescription or missed a dose because of the cost of their medications, the AP reported.
The goal of the program is to have the new pricing in practice in 2026, The New York Times reported. More drugs are expected to be added to the list in the future.
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