First 10 drugs chosen by White House for Medicare price negotiations include blood thinners, heart failure meds

The Biden administration has announced the first 10 drugs that will have their prices negotiated as part the Inflation Reduction Act. A majority of them are regularly used to treat cardiovascular concerns such as heart failure, the formation of blood clots and coronary artery disease.

The 10 drugs are:

  • Eliquis, for the prevention and treatment of blood clots.
  • Jardiance, for diabetes and heart failure.
  • Xarelto, for the prevention and treatment of blood clots and/or reducing the risks of coronary and peripheral artery disease.
  • Januvia, for diabetes.
  • Farxiga, for diabetes, heart failure or chronic kidney disease.
  • Enbrel, for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis.
  • Imbruvica, for blood cancers.
  • Stelara, for psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.           
  • Fiasp; Fiasp FlexTouch; Fiasp PenFill; NovoLog; NovoLog FlexPen; NovoLog PenFill, for diabetes.

“For far too long, Americans have paid more for prescriptions drugs than any major economy,” according to an official statement from the White House. “But now, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, Medicare can directly negotiate prescription drug prices to get a better deal for seniors.”

The announcement came on Aug. 29, a few days earlier than the previously announced date of Sept. 1. The selected drugs are all associated with the treatment of potentially life-threatening conditions, yet they rank among the most expensive in the United States in terms of total spending among Medicare patients. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Medicare enrollees paid a total of $3.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs for these drugs in 2022 alone.  

How the Medicare drug price negotiations will work

The negotiations will begin in 2023, but any price changes would not go into effect until 2026. Companies with drugs selected for this program have until Oct. 1 to sign an agreement to participate in the negotiation process. The deadline to submit manufacturer-specific data to CMS for consideration during the negotiation process is one day later, Oct. 2. Multiple meetings will then take place, including a “patient-focused listening session” featuring participation from “patients, beneficiaries, caregivers, consumer and patient organizations, and other interested parties.”

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will send its “initial offer of a maximum fair price” for each drug on Feb. 1, 2024. The negotiation process will last until Aug. 1, 2024, and final prices will be announced by Sept. 1, 2024.

“Today marks a significant and historic moment for the Medicare program with the announcement of the first drugs selected for Medicare drug price negotiation,” CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said in a separate CMS statement. “Our goal with these negotiations is to improve access to some of the costliest drugs for millions of people with Medicare while driving competition and innovation.”

Michael Walter
Michael Walter, Managing Editor

Michael has more than 16 years of experience as a professional writer and editor. He has written at length about cardiology, radiology, artificial intelligence and other key healthcare topics.

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