Biden Administration to announce targeting prescription drug prices for Medicare recipients

August 29, 2023

The Biden Administration on Tuesday is set to announce which prescription drugs are targeted for price negotiation to lower costs for Medicare recipients.

According to a White House fact sheet, among the first ten drugs targets for price negotiations are diabetes drug Jardiance and the blood clot treatment drug Eliquis.

The move is part of the Inflation Reduction Act, which Biden signed just over a year ago. The law requires that the federal government negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies regarding the prices of some of Medicare’s most expensive drugs.

The White House has noted that seniors are already seeing “life-saving benefits” from the Inflation Reduction Act—such as capping the out-of-pocket cost for insulin at $35 per month, as well as free recommended vaccines, like shingles and tetanus.

The Administration says some 15 million people are saving $800 per year on their health insurance premiums due to the Inflation Reduction Act.

The legislation has drawn legal challenges from big pharma companies like Merck, though it did drive at least two of them—Eli Lilly and Sanofi—to lower the cost of insulin to $35 for all of its customers, not just Medicare recipients.

In 2021, before the Inflation Reduction Act, about 9% of Medicare beneficiaries age 65 and older said they did not fill a prescription or skipped a drug dose due to cost, according to the Commonwealth Fund.

Though the Inflation Reduction Act has been blasted by Congressional Republicans for weighing down on domestic spending, Biden has made it the centerpiece of his 2024 reelection pitch.

President Biden, alongside Vice President Harris, planned to deliver a speech on health care costs from the White House on after the announcement on negotiated drug prices for Medicare recipients.

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