August 25, 2023

White House to Name First 10 Drugs for Medicare Negotiations Next Week

The Biden-Harris administration plans to unveil the first 10 drugs selected for Medicare price negotiations Tuesday, in a milestone in the president’s plan to lower the price of prescription drugs.

Democrats in the House and Senate passed legislation requiring Medicare to negotiate lower prices for some of the most expensive drugs last year as part of the Inflation Reduction Act. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is required to publish up to 10 Medicare Part D drugs that it selects for negotiation no later than September 1.

Health officials have closely guarded the specific medications that they plan to name. The list is likely to include expensive blood thinners, diabetes medicines, and cancer drugs that cost Medicare billions of dollars annually.

The negotiated prices are slated to go into effect in 2026, but many of the companies whose products are believed to be on the initial list have already filed suit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees CMS, and U.S. Health Secretary Xavier Becerra. Pharma — the drug industry lobbying group — and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have also sued. However, many Wall Street analysts say that the Medicare drug price negotiations are unlikely to be derailed by the lawsuits.

“Millions of seniors are paying less for their drugs today thanks to the IRA. The power of this law to change lives for the better will come into even sharper focus when the names of the first 10 drugs are released,” said Robert Roach, Jr., President of the Alliance. “Alliance members fought Big Pharma for nearly two decades to require Medicare to negotiate a better deal for retirees and taxpayers and we are anxious to see the result of our advocacy.”

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