Big Pharma Enters Attack On Inflation Reduction Act’s Medicare Negotiations
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) filed a lawsuit to stop Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices, joining Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb in challenging the constitutionality of the Inflation Reduction Act’s Medicare Prescription Drug Negotiation Program, which allows Medicare to negotiate lower prices for millions of people on Medicare. The authority to negotiate lower prices marks a historic victory against Big Pharma, making prescription drugs more affordable for American patients who pay up to four times more for the same drugs as people in other wealthy countries.
In response, Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach issued a statement:
“Big Pharma’s greed knows no bounds. While Americans are cutting pills and skipping doses, pharmaceutical companies are putting all of their energy into suing the federal government to protect their ability to charge patients outrageous prices to pad their sky-high profits. PhRMA spent record amounts on lobbying to kill the Inflation Reduction Act, and now they are doing everything in their power to stop the law from delivering lower costs to patients. The American people deserve better.”
Merck Manufactures Pricy Diabetes Drug Likely To Qualify For Negotiation. Merck manufactures Januvia, a type 2 diabetes drug that is likely to be eligible for negotiation and has been on the market without competition for 17 years. In 2021 alone, Medicare spent over $4 billion on the drug.
Bristol Myers Squibb Manufactures Eliquis, Which is Likely To Qualify For the First Round of Negotiations. Bristol Myers Squibb is motivated to block the Negotiation Program because its blockbuster drug Eliquis is likely to qualify for negotiation. In 2021 alone, Medicare spent over $12.5 billion on the blood clot drug, which is taken by over three million Medicare beneficiaries. BMS is also motivated to block future negotiations over the price of its drugs after announcing that it anticipates several blockbuster drug launches in the near term that could deliver annual sales of $25 billion or more by the end of the decade.
Big Pharma Will Stop At Nothing To Protect Its Profits. This lawsuit is just the latest salvo in PhRMA’s endless war to protect its profits. In 2022, the pharmaceutical industry spent over $375 million lobbying against efforts to rein in prescription drug costs and tens of millions of dollars more on false and misleading television and online ads trying to defeat the Inflation Reduction Act in Congress.