The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced the first 10 drugs selected for Medicare to negotiate with drug manufacturers to lower their prices.
These 10 drugs are taken by 9 million senior U.S. citizens, according to Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden. They cover chronic conditions like cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes that can cost up to $14,000 per month.
Lowering the cost of these drugs will help millions of Americans who struggle to afford prescription drugs. “Far too many Americans have to ration prescriptions, cutting a pill in half or taking a lower dose than they need, because their drugs are simply too expensive,” Tanden said at a news conference.
An additional 15 drugs will be selected for negotiation each of the next two years and then 20 drugs a year going forward, Tanden told reporters.
It is estimated that one in five seniors in the United States struggle to pay for prescription drugs. Americans pay two to three times more for prescription drugs than citizens in other developed countries.
For example, more than half a million Medicare beneficiaries rely on Entresto to treat their heart disease. This drug costs less than $150 in Australia and more than $300 in the U.S.
Imbruvica, one of the selected drugs that treats cancer, costs $6,000 a month in France. In the United States, it’s almost $14,000 a month — more than double.
Tanden said pharmaceutical companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to stop Medicare from negotiating lower costs which enabled them to charge whatever they can.
The 10 drugs covered under Medicare Part D selected for negotiation under the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program are Eliquis (Prevention and treatment of blood clots), Jardiance (Diabetes; Heart failure), Xarelto (Prevention and treatment of blood clots; Reduction of risk for patients with coronary or peripheral artery disease), Januvia (Diabetes), Farxiga (Diabetes; Heart failure; Chronic kidney disease)), Entresto (Heart failure), Enbrel (Rheumatoid arthritis; Psoriasis; Psoriatic arthritis), Imbruvica (Blood cancers), Stelara (Psoriasis; Psoriatic arthritis; Crohn’s disease; Ulcerative colitis), Fiasp, Fiasp FlexTouch, Fiasp PenFill, NovoLog, NovoLog FlexPen and NovoLog PenFill (Diabetes).
The negotiations with participating drug companies for the selected drugs will occur in 2023 and 2024 with the negotiated prices coming into effect in 2026.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services plans to publish the maximum fair prices that have been negotiated for drugs on September 1, 2024.
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