On Tuesday, the Biden administration unveiled a list of the first ten medications for which Medicare will be able to negotiate prices, the New York Times reported.
The so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” granted Medicare the authority to negotiate the prices of some prescription drugs.
The list of drugs from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are Eliquis, Enbrel, Entresto, Farxiga, Imbruvica, Januvia, Jardiance, Stelara, and Xarelto, as well as Fiasp and other insulin medications from Novo Nordisk, including NovoLog.
The medications treat heart disease, diabetes, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and other conditions. Last year, enrollees in Medicare paid out-of-pocket $3.4 billion, according to DHS. For those who did not receive additional financial assistance, out-of-pocket costs for the medications were on average as much as $6,500.
Once the negotiated prices are set, the lowered prices will take effect in 2026.
President Biden announced the list at the White House on Tuesday where he vowed to stand up to “Big Pharma.”
In a statement, the CEO of the drug industry’s main lobbying group the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said the list was the result of a rushed process that focused on “short-term political gain” rather than what is in the best interest of patients. He warned that the Biden administration’s price negotiation program would have harmful consequences “long after this administration is gone.”
In recent weeks, the pharmaceutical industry has filed at least eight lawsuits arguing that the price negotiation program is unconstitutional.
The medications selected range from expensive drugs taken by only a handful of seniors to cheaper drugs taken by thousands and even millions.
For example, Eliquis, a blood thinner, costs just under $600 a month and is taken by 3.7 million Americans.
The Congressional Budget Office projected that the price negotiation program could save the federal government $98.5 billion in ten years.