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What They’re Saying: Biden Administration’s Medicare Negotiation Announcement Marks Historic Step to Lower Drug Prices for Patients

By August 30, 2023No Comments

Washington, DC – Yesterday, the Biden administration announced the first round of high-cost drugs whose prices will be lowered as Medicare begins to negotiate with drug companies. The new program, created in the Inflation Reduction Act, will lower costs for some of the highest-priced prescription drugs on the market used to treat conditions like cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders – conditions that disproportionately impact women, communities of color, and people in rural areas.

President Biden and Democrats in Congress stood up to big drug companies and won a decades-long battle to lower the cost of prescription drugs for millions of Americans. Negotiating lower prices is overwhelmingly popular across the country, yet big drug companies are suing the federal government to protect their massive profits by halting the program while Republicans are attempting to repeal it. Read more about the first 10 drugs here.

Here’s what Biden Administration officials, members of Congress, and the leading advocacy organizations are saying:


President Biden: “No senior should have to overpay for life-saving drugs to pad Big Pharma’s pockets. My Administration is announcing the first 10 Medicare Part D drugs selected for price negotiation. We’re ending the days of deciding between buying your medicine or putting food on the table.” [@POTUS, 8/29/23]

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra: “Not only is the Inflation Reduction Act providing people with Medicare $35 caps on insulin & free recommended vaccines, but now Medicare can directly negotiate Rx drug prices, strengthening the program’s ability to serve people with Medicare now and for generations to come!” [@SecBecerra, 8/29/23]

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure: “Today, @CMSGov announced the first 10 drugs covered under #Medicare Part D selected for Medicare drug price negotiation. Negotiations with participating drug companies will occur in 2023 & 2024, and any negotiated prices will become effective in 2026. Lowering health care costs is a key priority. Thanks to the #InflationReductionAct, #Medicare will be able to negotiate prices directly with drug companies, improving access to some of the costliest prescription drugs for millions of people.” [@BrooksLaSureCMS, 8/29/23]


Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer: “The American people have sent Congress a message: reduce costs. And when it comes to prescription drugs, we are delivering for the American people in a very real way.” [@SenSchumer, 8/29/23]

President Pro Tempore Senator Patty Murray: “We have more to do, but this is going to bring down drug costs significantly for so many patients. I fought hard to pass Medicare negotiation in the Inflation Reduction Act because we need to put patients over profits.” [@PattyMurray, 8/29/23]

Chair of the Finance Committee Senator Ron Wyden: “Today marks the beginning of a new era for seniors and families that have been breaking the bank for far too long to pay for expensive prescription medicines. […] This step, plus other cost saving measures in the Inflation Reduction Act, represent a seismic shift in the relationship between Big Pharma, the federal government, and seniors who are counting on lower prices.” [Senator Ron Wyden Press Release, 8/29/23]

Majority Whip Senator Dick Durbin: “After decades of empty promises, @POTUS & Congressional Dems are successfully forcing down drug prices. First insulin to $35/month for Seniors on Medicare, & now the biggest drugs on the market. For the record: there was not 1 GOP vote in support of the Inflation Reduction Act.” [@SenatorDurbin, 8/29/23]

Senator Debbie Stabenow: “The Inflation Reduction Act is delivering real results for Michiganders like Pam Bloink. Pam is a retired teacher & assumed she was set for retirement. Rising costs left her struggling to make ends meet. The $35 a month insulin cap has been a lifesaver for Pam.” [@SenStabenow, 8/29/23]

Chair of Outreach and Chair of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Senator Bernie Sanders: “We should not be paying any more for prescription drugs than other countries around the world. As the Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, I look forward to working with the President and my colleagues to make that happen.” [@SenSanders, 8/29/23]

Chair of Senate Banking Committee Senator Sherrod Brown: “For years we fought Big Pharma to allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. For these 10 drugs that cost people on Medicare $3.4 BILLION last year — negotiations finally start today. We’re bringing costs down & keeping Ohioans from footing the bill of Big Pharma’s greed.” [@SenSherrodBrown, 8/29/23]

Chair of Senate Aging Committee Senator Bob Casey: “Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act Medicare is able to negotiate drug prices for the first time in history. Today the Biden Admin announced the first 10 drugs to be negotiated. This is a huge step towards lowering costs for families & we’re not done yet.” [@SenBobCasey, 8/29/23]

Chair of Steering Committee Senator Amy Klobuchar: “Pharma’s sweetheart deal has ended. First list of ten blockbuster drugs eligible for negotiation under Medicare is out and includes blood thinners and diabetes and arthritis drugs that millions and millions of seniors take. Pharma is fighting this in court. The President is standing up for what’s right. I spent years on this bill. Let’s get it done!” [@AmyKlobuchar, 8/29/23]

Chair of the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Senator Jon Tester: “GOOD NEWS: Cheaper prescription drugs are coming to Montana. Nobody should ever have to choose between life-saving meds and putting food on the table. That’s why we took on Big Pharma to lower drug prices—starting with these 10 critical medications…” [@SenatorTester, 8/29/23]

Senator Mark Warner: “Thrilled to see Medicare announce the first ten prescription drugs eligible for price negotiations! This is a monumental and historic step forward in lowering costs for Americans. I’m proud to have fought for this day for years and supported the law that made it possible.” [@MarkWarner, 8/29/23

Senator Tammy Baldwin: “I voted for the Inflation Reduction Act to take on big drug companies & finally allow Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs.  I’m proud our legislation is going to cut costs for Wisconsinites and make a real difference in families’ lives.” [@SenatorBaldwin, 8/29/23]

Senator Elizabeth Warren: “Today, @HHSGov announced the first 10 prescription drugs that will be negotiated under Medicare. This is an important win that will bring down costs for seniors and families — and Republicans and Big Pharma fought against it every step of the way.” [@SenWarren, 8/29/23]

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto: “@POTUS just announced that Medicare is bringing Big Pharma to the table to lower the cost of 10 of the costliest medications – thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act that I voted for. This is going to deliver life-changing savings for families across Nevada.” [@SenCortezMasto, 8/29/23]

Senator Peter Welch: “This announcement is a major milestone in our fight to hold Big Pharma accountable for skyrocketing drug costs, and it’s just the beginning. […] In 2022, folks on Medicare spent over $3 billion out of pocket on these drugs, which treat and prevent medical conditions that impact so many Americans. I will keep fighting to lower the cost of prescription drugs for Vermont seniors and families.” [Senator Peter Welch Press Release, 8/29/23]

Democratic Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries: “The Biden administration is negotiating lower drug prices for millions of Americans. We continue to put people over politics. And build an economy that works for everyone.” [@RepJeffries, 8/29/23]

Democratic Whip Rep. Katherine Clark: “Big Pharma lost. American seniors won. In 2022, 9 million seniors and other Americans on Medicare spent over $3.4 billion out-of-pocket for these drugs. This is the Inflation Reduction Act saving you money and saving lives.” [@WhipKClark, 8/29/23]

Speaker Emerita Rep. Nancy Pelosi: “The Inflation Reduction Act was a monumental victory in Democrats’ long fight to make prescription drugs more affordable: empowering Medicare to negotiate lower prices. Today’s announcement is an important step to delivering these lower costs to millions of America’s seniors.” [@SpeakerPelosi, 8/29/23]

Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Rep. Frank Pallone: “This is a historic day for health care in America. For the first time in the Medicare program, we are going to negotiate the price of prescription drugs for America’s seniors.” [@FrankPallone, 8/29/23]

Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee Rep. Richard Neal: “America’s seniors shouldn’t have to forgo the medications they need because of Big Pharma’s price gouging. Today’s announcement comes after Ways & Means Democrats took on special interests with the #InflationReductionAct’s drug pricing provisions. And we won’t stop there.” [@RepRichardNeal, 8/29/23]

Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce Rep. Bobby Scott: “@POTUS and Congressional Democrats took on Big Pharma when we passed the Inflation Reduction Act. Now, Medicare is announcing which prescription drugs will be negotiating prices. This will cut costs and lower prices for consumers.” [@BobbyScott, 8/29/23]

Rep. Pete Aguilar: “9 million Americans will soon be paying significantly less for 10 different, widely-used medications thanks to @HouseDemocrats and @POTUS.” [@RepPeteAguilar, 8/29/23]

Rep. Judy Chu: “No other country in the world pays as much as we do for our prescription drugs. For the first time in history, Medicare can now negotiate lower prices for some of our nation’s costliest prescription drugs thanks to the #InflationReductionAct! Millions of seniors rely on these drugs to treat diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, blood clots, and cancers. In 2022, just one  of these drugs could cost seniors up to $6,497 in out-of-pocket costs.” [@RepJudyChu, 8/29/23]

Rep. Susan Wild: “HUGE news! I’ve been taking on Big Pharma to lower your drug costs since my first day in Congress. Today, we’re chipping away at Big Pharma’s power to price-gouge and rake in billions in profit at your expense. I’m proud to have fought to make it happen.” [@RepSusanWild, 8/29/23]

Rep. Abigail Spanberger: “Today, @POTUS announced the first 10 drugs for Medicare price negotiation. For years, the top issue I’ve heard from Virginia seniors is high prescription drug costs. That’s why I was proud to vote for the Inflation Reduction Act to save Virginians money.” [@SpanbergerVA07, 8/29/23]


Protect Our Care Chair Leslie Dach: “Americans deserve financial security and some peace of mind when they go to sleep at night. But, too many are forced to choose between being able to afford their medicines or paying for food or housing. Prescription medicines cannot work if people cannot afford to take them, and high drug prices are keeping too many Americans from the health care they need. Patients should not be paying out-of-control prices for medicines they need when all it’s doing is increasing drug company profits and footing the bill for outrageous CEO salaries. President Biden and Democrats in Congress stood up to big drug companies and won a decades-long battle to lower the cost of prescription drugs by giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower prices. The Biden administration is laser-focused on making medications affordable for families and ending the era of drug companies’ unchecked power and greed.” [Protect Our Care, 8/29/23]

AARP President Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond: “AARP applauds CMS for taking this next critical step to bring down out-of-control prescription drug prices. For too long, big drug companies have fleeced our country and padded their profits by setting outrageous prices, all at the expense of American lives. The number one reason seniors skip or ration their prescriptions is because they can’t afford them. This must stop. Allowing Medicare to negotiate prices for these first 10 drugs will finally bring much-needed access and relief to American families, particularly older adults. We cannot overstate how monumental this law is for older Americans’ financial stability and overall health.” [AARP, 8/29/23]

Patients for Affordable Drug Prices Founder David Mitchell: “This is a momentous day for patients across the country. Finally beginning to undo the nearly 20-year ban on Medicare using its purchasing power to get lower prices, Medicare will now negotiate for a better deal for these ten high-cost drugs. The list includes essential life-saving medications – cancer treatments, blood thinners, autoimmune disease treatments, diabetes drugs – that people in this country have been paying unjustified amounts for decades, while drug companies have used Medicare as a piggy bank raising prices to hit profit targets and trigger executive bonuses.” [Patients for Affordable Drug Prices, 8/29/23]

Center for American Progress Senior Vice President for Inclusive Growth Emily Gee: “Today’s announcement is a watershed moment to make lifesaving medications more affordable for millions of Americans on Medicare. Millions of seniors rely on these drugs to treat cancer and blood clots, and manage chronic conditions, including diabetes and heart failure. The Biden administration is growing the middle class by giving more Americans economic security, including better protections against high health care costs.” [Center for American Progress, 8/29/23]

Coalition on Human Needs: “A key provision to reduce prices for seniors came closer to reality Tuesday as the Biden Administration announced the first ten prescription drugs that will be subject to price negotiations between pharmaceutical companies and Medicare. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, Medicare now has the power to directly negotiate drug prices with manufacturers for the first time in the federal program’s nearly 60-year history. The new prices will be announced next year and will take effect in 2026. Barring successful legal challenges by drug companies, these ten drugs will be only the first to be negotiated. For the next four years, 15 drugs each year will be selected; following that, the number will go up to 20 drugs a year.” [Coalition on Human Needs, 8/29/23]

Small Business for America’s Future Senior Advisor Rhett Buttle: “Today’s anticipated remarks by President Biden and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding prescription drugs is a significant stride forward in addressing the soaring cost of healthcare, a top concern in the small business community. For far too long, the rising cost of healthcare has been a huge burden on small business owners that has prevented them from hiring and retaining workers, affecting their competitiveness in the labor market and cutting into their bottom lines. Prescription drug costs are one of the key drivers of high healthcare costs. Addressing healthcare costs can help continue the positive momentum of our economy with solid new jobs numbers and near record low unemployment. I am urging lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to take a strong look at other policies that can continue to help combat high healthcare costs.” [Small Business for America’s Future, 8/29/23]

Building Back Together Interim Executive Director Mayra Macías: “For the first time in our history, Medicare will have the authority to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs directly with major drug manufacturers. For years, these major drug companies have seen record-breaking profits made off the backs of Americans just trying to make ends meet and stay healthy. That ends today. For Americans who take vital medications like Eliquis, Jardiance, Xarelto, Januvia, Farxiga, Entresto, Enbrel, Imbruvica, Stelara, and Fiasp/NovoLog, help is on the way.” [Building Back Together, 8/29/23]

Public Citizen Director of the Access to Medicines Program Peter Maybarduk: “The negotiated drugs list is a watershed moment for medicine affordability. Drug corporations pretend this is a catastrophe, but I would rather see that money in seniors’ pockets than Big Pharma’s.Drug corporations, in crude arrogance, are suing to limit price negotiations under the IRA. But the list shows instead how important it is to expand those negotiation powers.” [Public Citizen, 8/29/23]

Unrig Our Economy Campaign Director Sarah Baron: “While Biden and congressional Democrats fought fiercely to include Medicare’s ability to negotiate lower drug costs as part of the Inflation Reduction Act, Republicans chose to vote “NO” on lower drug prices for hard-working Americans. We’re thrilled to see the Administration begin to lower drug prices despite Republican opposition and look forward to seeing more drug prices negotiated down in the future.”  [Unrig Our Economy, 8/29/23]

Groundwork Collaborative Acting Executive Director Kitty Richards: “For too long, millions of Americans have been forced to pay outrageous prices for life-saving drugs while pharmaceutical companies extract record profits. We applaud the Administration for using the power of government to rein in the pharmaceutical industry’s profiteering and begin building an economy where no one has to choose between life-saving medications and paying their rent.” [Groundwork Collaborative, 8/29/23]

Accountable.US Executive Director Tony Carrk: “Big drug companies raked in billions in profits while standing in the way of lower prescription drug costs for millions of seniors. The time of Big Pharma grossly overcharging American seniors on life-saving medicines is coming to an end. This historic achievement is still under threat, however, because the MAGA House Majority is hellbent on repealing the Inflation Reduction Act. They would rather pad the profits of their major industry donors than help seniors who are literally choosing between food and medicines.” [Accountable.US, 8/29/23]