First 10 drugs for Medicare price negotiations

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Medicare can now negotiate lower prices for 10 common, high-priced medications treating conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and chronic kidney disease.

For more on this topic, we welcomed Dana Marie Kennedy, State Director of AARP Arizona.

Medicare’s authority to negotiate prices was part of last year’s “Inflation Reduction Act.”

Medicare will begin negotiating with the manufacturers of popular medications used to treat the conditions above as well as blood clots, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, blood cancers, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

“There’s over 10 meds, but this is just the beginning, we won’t see the benefit of this until 2026,” Kennedy said. “So, medicare will reach out to these 10 drug companies and they’ll start the negotiation process and then once that’s done, or actually while it’s started, they’re actually going to start 15 medications in 2027.”

Medicare hopes to have negotiated around 60 drugs by 2029.

Medicare recipients will have to wait until 2026 to see the benefits of this negotiation due to drug companies’ potential lawsuits.

Pharmaceutical company, Merck & Co. sued the US government in June in an attempt to halt the drug negotiation.

“This is something that shouldn’t be stopped, drug companies have been price gouging for years and so, this is just an opportunity for them to try and stop us from actually doing something to contain the cost to get the best value for medicare beneficiaries, as well as the federal government,” Kennedy said.

The “Inflation Reduction Act” includes a variety of different benefits many are not aware of. Such as out-of-pocket expenses for medication will be capped at $2,000, insulin will be capped at $35, and drug companies that raise the cost more than inflation will be penalized.

“We want to make sure that people are able to take those medications so they can live the best life that they possibly can with the medications that are available to them,” Kennedy said.

Dana Marie Kennedy, state director, AARP Arizona

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