Negotiations between the federal government and the manufacturers of ten prescription drugs over prices for the Medicare program are moving forward. The American Hospital Association reported on Oct. 3, 2023 (“CMS: Makers of selected drugs agree to participate in Medicare price negotiation”):
“The companies that make the first 10 Medicare Part D drugs selected to participate in the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program have agreed to participate in the program’s price negotiations, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced. CMS in August selected 10 high-cost drugs for the first negotiation cycle, which will run until next August for prices effective in 2026. It plans to host public meetings on each of the drugs between Oct. 30 and Nov. 15, and make initial price offers for the drugs by Feb. 1.”
This follows a ruling in Federal court on Sept. 29 that allows negotiations to continue in spite of lawsuits by pharmaceutical manufacturers challenging the price program. As Reuters reported Sept. 29, 2023:
“Newman in a preliminary order rejected that argument, finding that drugmakers were unlikely to prevail in the case. He said they were not being forced to give anything up because participating in Medicare is ‘completely voluntary.’
“‘As there is no constitutional right (or requirement) to engage in business with the government, the consequences of that participation cannot be considered a constitutional violation,’ he wrote.
“The Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Justice Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
“The Biden administration “will continue fighting to lower health care costs for American families, no matter how many challenges Republicans and Big Pharma put in our way,” White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
“Although Newman’s ruling allows the price negotiation program to begin as scheduled on Oct. 1, the judge allowed the lawsuit to continue, denying a motion by the government to dismiss it altogether.”
KFF has an issue brief on the potential impact of the prescription price negotiation program, “How Medicare’s New Drug Price Negotiation Program Could Expand Access to Selected Drugs.”
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Page last updated October 19, 2023 by Doug McVay, Editor.