Thanks to the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, Medicare finally has the ability to negotiate prescription drug prices
Yesterday, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper joined a public Town Hall with AARP members to celebrate lower drug prices for Medicare recipients. The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August of 2022, grants Medicare the unprecedented authority to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower drug prices.
Medicare recently announced the first ten drugs they will negotiate. The list includes some of the most widespread, expensive drugs that Americans use to treat common illnesses including diabetes, blood clots, heart failure, kidney disease, blood cancers, and arthritis.
More than 1,800 people tuned in live and submitted questions.
Check out the highlights below:
On the significance of Medicare negotiating prices:
“…The [Inflation Reduction Act] provides Medicare the authority to negotiate the prices of some of the most widely used and some of the most expensive drugs in existence.
Passing the Inflation Reduction Act was not easy, it took a lot of grit, a lot of threats. Elections have consequences. We had enough people committed to lowering the cost of prescription drugs for seniors that we were able to get it passed.”
On the Inflation Reduction Act capping out-of-pocket costs for seniors:
“I think there’s a silver lining here. TheInflation Reduction Act caps out of pocket costs for seniors to $2,000 a year – and that’s for all of your pharmaceuticals. So, the whole point of that is filling in the ‘donut hole’ [in Medicare Part D]. It’s been a real problem for a long, long time.”
On Medicare price negotiation lowering drug costs for all Americans beyond just Medicare enrollees:
“It’s worth pointing out that as we [negotiate] these 10 drugs, once that price is negotiated down, I think it’s likely that people who are younger – let’s say they’ve got health insurance but they get a disease where they need one of these drugs – I think the price will come down for them as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if this whole process puts downward pressure on drug costs.”
On making health care more affordable:
“Health care is a right not a privilege, and that’s a basic premise and a foundation of where we want to get…I think what we are doing with theInflation Reduction Act: capping the prices for seniors, picking ten drugs out and making drug companies negotiate their price – these are big steps forward which will be very popular once people understand and realize what is really happening.”
On bipartisanship around health care:
“I think there’s a strong bipartisan commitment to protect Medicare and to make sure that we do a consistently better job of delivering affordable, and quality health care that is reliably accessible to all Americans.”