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Biden administration names 10 prescription drugs for first-ever Medicare price negotiations

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(WASHINGTON) — The Biden administration on Tuesday unveiled the first 10 prescription drugs that will be subject to price negotiations with Medicare, marking a milestone for Democrats in their yearslong push to lower rising health care costs.

The list includes Jardiance, Xarelto, Januvia, Farxiga, Entresto, Enbrel, Imbruvica, Stelara, Fiasp and NovoLog.

President Joe Biden, in a statement, said the medications are “among the most common and costly prescriptions that treat everything from heart failure, blood clots, diabetes, arthritis, Crohn’s disease — and more.”

“For far too long, Americans have paid more for prescription drugs than any major economy. And while the pharmaceutical industry makes record profits, millions of Americans are forced to choose between paying for medications they need to live or paying for food, rent, and other basic necessities,” Biden said. “Those days are ending.”

The impact won’t be immediately felt, however, as the negotiations will occur this year and next with the new prices becoming effective in 2026.

The Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program is a result of the Inflation Reduction Act, one of Biden’s key legislative victories. It allows the government to directly broker with drug manufacturers for the first time in the history of the program, which provides health insurance coverage to 65 million people, including 57 million seniors.

Biden will deliver remarks in the East Room of the White House on Tuesday afternoon to mark the occasion. There, the White House said he will be joined by a Medicare beneficiary who relies on prescription medications to treat chronic conditions.

Medicare enrollees taking the 10 drugs selected for negotiation paid a total of $3.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs for the medications in 2022, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Under the Inflation Reduction Act, the federal government can select up to 15 more drugs for negotiation in 2027, another 15 drugs for 2028 and up to 20 more drugs each year after.

President Biden, in a nod to his 2024 reelection message, said taking on “Big Pharma” is part of his “Bidenomics” vision of building the economy from the middle out and bottom up.

“Let me be clear: I am not backing down,” Biden said on Tuesday. “There is no reason why Americans should be forced to pay more than any developed nation for life-saving prescriptions just to pad Big Pharma’s pockets.”

The drug industry, in response to the announcement, hit back on the program.

“Giving a single government agency the power to arbitrarily set the price of medicines with little accountability, oversight or input from patients and their doctors will have significant negative consequences long after this administration is gone,” Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) President Stephen J. Ubl said in a statement.

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