Medicare now has the ability to negotiate the prices of prescription drugs

Thanks to President Biden’s historic prescription drug law, the Inflation Reduction Act

President Biden officially announced the first ten drugs that CMS has named eligible for Medicare negotiations. Once implemented, Medicare negotiations will save patients and taxpayers billions on prescriptions in Part D and ensure millions more people can access affordable medicines they need. Click here to read more about negotiations

The first 10 drugs are:

  • Eliquis, a blood thinner
  • Xarelto, a blood thinner
  • Januvia, a diabetes drug
  • Jardiance, a diabetes drug
  • Enbrel, a rheumatoid arthritis drug
  • Imbruvica, a drug for blood cancers
  • Farxiga, a drug for diabetes, heart failure and chronic kidney disease
  • Entresto, a heart failure drug
  • Stelara, a drug for psoriasis and Crohn’s disease
  • Fiasp and NovoLog, for diabetes

Together, the 10 drugs selected accounted for $50.5 billion, or 20%, of Medicare Part D spending from June 1, 2022, to May 31, according to the CMS.

This won’t happen overnight… Negotiations for the first group of selected drugs will begin in 2023, with negotiated prices going into effect in 2026.

We know that:

  • Pharmaceutical companies conveniently forget who funds much of the initial research that paves the way to their blockbuster drugs. In fact, pharmaceutical companies regularly show their appreciation to taxpayers by charging Americans three, five, and sometimes even 10 times more than they are charging in other countries around the world for the exact same drugs.
  • For decades, Big Pharma has blocked negotiations from happening. While pharmaceutical companies made record profits and spent hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbying year after year, millions of Americans were forced to choose between paying for medications they need to live, or paying for other basic necessities.
  • Under President Biden and Vice President Harris, those days are ending. Up to 9 million Americans will be able to benefit from the new negotiated drug prices.
  • In 2022 alone, around 9 million seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries spent over $3.4 billion out-of-pocket on the 10 drugs selected for negotiation.
  • These drugs are used to treat some of the most common diseases like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, blood clots, and cancers – and in 2022 cost seniors up to $6,497 in out-of-pocket costs per year for just one of these drugs
  • Today’s announcement is a major step forward in the Administration’s efforts to lower costs for American families and make health care more affordable.

But even as Medicare officials prepare to negotiate prices, the drug corporations that manufacture these medicines are filing lawsuits to try and overturn the law so they can keep price-gouging patients and inflating profits. It’s time for Big Pharma to stop suing and start negotiating lower prices so everyone in Medicare can get the medicines they need.  And it’s time for Republicans in Congress to remember who they represent… it’s their constituents NOT their big pharma campaign donors!

Health care and prescription drug pricing have been a focus for Iowa Citizen Action Network for decades. We believe that no matter where you live, what age you are, what you look like or how much money you have, access to affordable healthcare and medications should be a right, not a privilege. The Inflation Reduction Act is a step in that direction that we should be building on so that many more people can benefit.

President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act – Lowering Health Care Costs: By the Numbers

  • 9 million: Number of seniors who took the 10 drugs selected for Medicare Price Negotiation in 2022.  
  • $3.4 billion: Amount Medicare beneficiaries spent in out of pocket costs in 2022 on the 10 drugs.
  • $6,497: The out-of-pocket cost seniors had to pay per year for just one of the drugs selected for negotiation
  • 33 years: Amount of time leaders spent trying to allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices.
  • $160 billion: How much taxpayers will save because of the Inflation Reduction Act’s health care provisions
  • 4 million: Number of seniors already benefitting from the Inflation Reduction Act’s $35 per month cap on the cost of insulin.
  • 15 million: Americans saving $800 per year on health insurance premiums because of the Inflation Reduction Act.
  • $400: The amount seniors are projected to save on prescription drugs annually when the $2,000 out of pocket cap goes into effect.
  • 8: Number of lawsuits Big Pharma has already filed to block the Biden Administration from being able to negotiate lower prescription drug prices.
  • Nearly $400 million: The amount Big Pharma spentin lobbying efforts to try to stop the Administration from being able to negotiate lower drug prices and lower health care costs for American families.
  • Over 8 in 10: Adultssupport allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

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Iowa Citizen Action Network (ICAN) is a grassroots public interest organization committed to creating social change in Iowa and across the nation. ICAN has united Iowa’s progressives for 45 years, and is leading efforts to change the public climate for progressive change. ICAN works in coalition with  organizational affiliates from a wide range of constituencies, including religious, community, labor, senior, family farm and environmental organizations as well as with our thousands of individual members.
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