Medicare Drug Price Negotiating Program Begins
Negotiations Commence for Medicare Drug Price Negotiating Program
The Medicare drug price negotiating program has officially commenced its negotiation component. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has sent its initial price offers for the first 10 selected drugs to various pharmaceutical companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, and AstraZeneca. Negotiations between the federal government and the drugmakers will take place over the next few months, with a deadline of August 1. The goal of these negotiations is to establish a “maximum fair price” as outlined in the Inflation Reduction Act, which will go into effect in 2026.
White House Keeps Initial Offers Confidential
While negotiations are underway, the White House has chosen not to disclose the initial offers to the public. As of early February, the drugmakers themselves have also not revealed the offers they received. This level of confidentiality adds an element of suspense to the negotiation process.
Pharmaceutical Industry Pushes Back
The pharmaceutical industry is pushing back against the Medicare drug price negotiations. Lobbying group PhRMA released a statement expressing concerns about the lasting consequences these negotiations may have on patients. They argue that the negotiations are more focused on political gain rather than the best interest of patients. PhRMA believes that government bureaucrats are setting medicine prices without transparency or sufficient input from patients and providers.
Legal Challenges to the Program
Since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, several pharmaceutical companies whose drugs were chosen for negotiation have filed lawsuits against the federal government. These lawsuits aim to invalidate the program by arguing its unconstitutionality. However, a federal judge recently expressed skepticism towards these claims in a case involving AstraZeneca. The judge noted that the pharmaceutical companies have the freedom to choose whether or not to sell their drugs to Medicare, suggesting that their claims may not hold up in court.
Resource Hub for Medicare Patients
In addition to the negotiations, the Biden administration has announced the launch of a resource hub called LowerDrugCosts.gov. This user-friendly website aims to assist Medicare patients in finding lower-cost drugs. It provides information about the Inflation Reduction Act‘s drug pricing provisions and their implementation in plain language. The resource hub is part of the administration’s broader efforts to reform drug pricing and showcase their accomplishments before the 2024 elections.
Improving Access and Reducing Costs
CMS administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure emphasized the importance of improving access to expensive drugs for people with Medicare while encouraging market competition and fostering innovation. In 2024, individuals with Medicare prescription drug coverage who have high drug costs will have their expenses capped for the first time ever. This cap is particularly significant for those taking the first 10 drugs selected for negotiation.
Read More of this Story at www.mmm-online.com – 2024-02-02 17:45:43
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