Washington, DC — Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released revised guidance laying out the rules of the road for selecting and negotiating lower prices for prescription drugs, delivering on the Biden-Harris Administration’s historic accomplishment of finally allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. This comes as the pharmaceutical industry is filing multiple lawsuits in an attempt to halt the program and protect its profits. Read Protect Our Care’s new report “Why Medicare Needs the Power to Negotiate for Lower Drug Costs: Outrageous Prices, Greed, and Patent Exploitation” here.
In response, Protect Our Care Director of Policy Programs Andrea Harris issued the following statement:
“Today the Biden administration took a major step forward in lowering health care costs for millions of seniors by taking on Big Pharma and finalizing the process for Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices. The revised guidance further demonstrates the administration’s commitment to a transparent and fair negotiation program that will engage the public and manufacturers, support the development of innovative drugs, and ensure lower prices reflect the drug’s benefit to patients.
“Americans are suffering from Big Pharma’s greed while they pay up to four times more for the same drugs as people in other countries. Thanks to Democrats in Congress and President Biden, the Inflation Reduction Act’s Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program will finally end the era of pharmaceutical companies’ unchecked power.”
Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, seniors are already saving money as a result of the law’s $35 monthly insulin copay cap and no-cost vaccinations. Now, the Biden administration is taking the first step to implement the Inflation Reduction Act’s Medicare negotiation provision to drive down prices of some of the most popular and expensive drugs on the market. This progress is particularly important for seniors of color and people with disabilities, who experience health disparities in part because they are more likely to have limited access to affordable drugs. Seniors who are more likely to live in rural areas and LGBTQI+ seniors who experience greater levels of poverty and worse health outcomes will also benefit from this law.
Pharma is Fear-Mongering by Claiming Medicare Negotiation Harms Innovation
Pharmaceutical companies and their Republican allies are relying on decades-old arguments that any attempt to regulate prices will harm the innovation of new drugs. These claims are blatantly false. Big Pharma is simply trying to preserve the status quo where Americans pay up to four times more for prescription drugs than people in other countries while they continue to rake in outsized profits.