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FACT SHEET: Big Pharma’s Greed Results In Medicare Premium Hikes

By November 15, 2021No Comments

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced an increase in Medicare Part B premiums, due to the out of control rise in prescription drug prices. All Medicare beneficiaries will feel the impacts of this increase, which will make it more expensive to visit a physician and receive outpatient care, all because Republicans in Congress refuse to empower Medicare to negotiate the cost of life saving medication for seniors. This simply cannot continue. The Build Back Better Act will put a check on Big Pharma’s price gouging, lower costs, and ensure seniors are able to access the prescription drugs they need to live full and healthy lives. 

Big Pharma’s Greed Forces Medicare To Increase Premiums

Aduhelm Alone Increases Medicare Premiums For Seniors. Premiums for 56 million Medicare Part B beneficiaries will be impacted due to one drug company’s greed and the outrageous price of Aduhelm, Biogen’s controversial new Alzheimer’s drug. Aduhelm’s $56,000 annual precise tag has forced Medicare to establish a contingency reserve in the event Medicare decides to cover the medication. 

Cost-Sharing Requirements For Seniors Will Increase. Aduhelm’s astronomical price will expose six million Medicare beneficiaries with no supplemental coverage to the full brunt of Medicare’s cost-sharing requirements. This cost sharing responsibility for Part B medications, like Aduhelm, will be particularly painful for the 90 percent of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries with plans requiring 20 percent coinsurance rates for in-network providers, with that figure surging to 50 percent for medications provided out-of-network. 

Lowering Costs & Keeping Big Pharma In Check

High Drug Prices Cause Higher Premiums. The excessive cost of prescription drugs is felt far beyond the pharmacy counter. High medication costs are reflected in higher insurance premiums for seniors on Medicare, individuals purchasing insurance on their own, and for employers providing coverage to their workers.

Build Back Better Will Lower The Cost Burden On Seniors. By giving Medicare the power to negotiate prescription drug prices and preventing drug companies from raising the cost of medications faster than inflation for all Americans, Build Back Better will lower the cost of health care across the board. When drug prices skyrocket, premiums increase. By requiring the pharmaceutical industry to play fair, Medicare will serve as a check on arbitrary and extreme prices set by drug makers.

Republicans In The Pocket Of Big Pharma Are Blocking Reform

Republicans Teaming Up With Pharma To Kill Drug Provisions. In 2021 alone, Big Pharma has spent nearly $263 million on lobbying — devoting three lobbyists to each member of congress. This strategy has worked on Republicans, now promising to “challenge anything and everything” in order to protect drug companies’ profits while millions of families struggle to afford the medications they need to survive.

Republicans Continue To Carry Water For Pharma. While Republicans are busy peddling Big Pharma’s lies, Democrats are working to make prescription drugs affordable. Medicare drug price negotiation included in the Build Back Better Act allows the federal government to establish fair prices with drug makers, not decide what medications Medicare beneficiaries can and cannot access. Republicans are attempting to scare the public with false statements about restricting innovation and government interference in health care, but the American people know better. Polling has clearly demonstrated that giving Medicare the power to negotiate drug prices is one of the most popular provisions in Build Back Better.