The U.S. government is embarking on a groundbreaking initiative to negotiate prices for the 10 most expensive prescription drugs covered by Medicare. This move, mandated by the Inflation Reduction Act, marks a significant effort by the Biden administration to address the escalating costs of prescription drugs for older adults.
Medicare, providing health insurance to over 65 million Americans, is set to engage in direct negotiations with drugmakers, a first in its history. The negotiations, running until August 1, will culminate in the announcement of final prices on September 1.
Lawrence Gostin, Director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, anticipates intense negotiations with pharmaceutical companies, stating, "Big Pharma is likely to dig in its heels and use a variety of strategies, including fierce negotiations."
This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is expected to present its initial pricing offers to the manufacturers of the selected drugs. The outcome of these negotiations could significantly impact the landscape of drug pricing and access for millions of Medicare beneficiaries.