New York, NY – On August 16,2023 NYC Health Advocates organized a rally outside Jones Day offices in Manhattan, the law firm currently representing drug corporations suing to stop medicare negotiations for lower drug prices. The action was held in solidarity with protests around the country to hold drug corporations accountable for trying to roll back the new law in the courts as part of Countdown to Lower Drug Costs.
At stake are $161.7 billion in savings for Medicare and people on Medicare over the next 10 years and access to affordable prescriptions for 5-7 million Medicare enrollees that have already waited too long for the medicines they need.
On September 1st, CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) will announce a list of the first ten drugs for price negotiations in Medicare thanks to historical reforms in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that are currently being implemented.
The IRA includes broadly popular provisions to lower drug prices through negotiations, cap out of pocket costs on prescriptions for the first time, and penalize drug corporations for raising prices faster than the rate of inflation.
Drug corporations are threatening to roll back this progress, however, with lawsuits to overturn the centerpiece of the new law: Medicare negotiations for lower prices. In the last two months, Astellas, Bristol Myers Squibb, Janssens, Merck, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA), and the US Chamber of Commerce have filed suits to overturn the law so they can protect their monopoly power to charge any price they want and inflate their massive profits.
Medicare is the largest purchaser of prescription medicines in the nation, but thanks to drug industry lobbying over the years, it is forbidden from negotiating lower prices with the drug corporations in the way the Department of Veterans and Medicaid do.
As a result, drug corporations have tripled prices on the top 25 drugs in Medicare since introducing those drugs to the market, forcing many patients to go into debt, ration medicine or forgo treatment. The new requires negotiated prices on some of those drugs and takes away the drug corporations’ unilateral power to price gouge.
© Erik McGregor – email@example.com – 917-225-8963