With the cost of medication skyrocketing, the Biden-Harris Administration plans Medicare prescription price negotiations at a federal level to make medication more affordable. However, this negotiation isn’t without contention from major pharmaceutical companies. Here’s what you need to know about the Medicare prescription drug price negotiations happening in 2024.
The fight for better drug prices
It shouldn’t come as a shock that prescription drug prices in the United States have gotten out of hand. According to research from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the United States pays three times more for prescription drugs and almost ten times more for insulin compared to other developed nations.
With the addition of record inflation, the cost of medication is really impacting Americans’ abilities to get the prescription drugs they need, leading to the Medicare prescription price negotiations as a part of the Inflation Reduction Act.
Challenges from pharmaceutical companies
Naturally, the attempt to lower prescription medication cost isn’t being met unchallenged. Legal challenges from major pharmaceutical companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., and Novo Nordisk has led to lawsuits and legal battles in four New Jersey cases. Firms representing pharmaceutical companies include Latham & Watkins, Covington & Burling, Jones Day, and King & Spalding.
The pharmaceutical companies’ representation argue that lowering prescription drug prices would undermine incentives for research and new product development. Others state that the Medicare prescription price negotiations violate the Takings Clause.
However, there are many motions that counter the drug companies’ arguments, including from the Abrams Institute at Yale Law, stating that the fair price negotiations do not violate the Takings Clause.
The prospective Medicare prescription price negotiations timeline
Despite the challenges, Medicare prescription price negotiations are continuing to move forward. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) plans to make the initial fair price offer for ten drugs on February 1, 2024. Negotiations are planned to continue through August 1 and maximum fair prices announced on September 1, 2024.
Hopefully by the end of the year, we will see some relief on the cost of prescription drugs. In the meantime, if you’re having difficulties paying for your prescription drugs or need help finding a plan that covers your medication, please call a local Medicare advisor at Health Benefits Associates at 775-828-1216.
Our advisors are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to Medicare. We’ll help find a plan that works for your unique needs, ensuring you have the right coverage to give you peace of mind. Contact Health Benefits Associates today!