NJCA’s Statement on the First Ten Prescription Drugs Announced for Medicare Negotiations to Lower Prices

Biden Names First Ten Prescription Drugs for Long-awaited Medicare Negotiations to Lower Prices

Drug manufacturers of Xarelto, Eliquis, Januvia and other medicines target for negotiations pursue lawsuits to overturn the law and keep profits high

In response to today’s announcement about the first ten prescription drugs that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have selected for lower prices through Medicare negotiations, Maura Collinsgru, Director of Policy & Advocacy, New Jersey Citizen Action released the following statement:

“Today’s release of the first 10 Medicare negotiated drugs is a watershed moment in the battle to lower drug prices that will finally make essential medicines affordable for millions of people on Medicare. This is the fulfillment of a promise President Biden and Democrats in Congress made to lower health care costs as part of the Inflation Reduction Act by including reforms to finally enable Medicare to negotiate lower prices on some of the most expensive medications for Medicare, such as Xarelto, Eliquis, and Januvia.

“This landmark law is already expected to lower drug costs for as many as 473,000 New Jerseyans could save $520 per year. Once the negotiations are implemented, 5 to 7 million more Medicare patients across the country will save money on treating everything from diabetes to cancer and taxpayers can expect to save over $98 billion over the next decade. This will allow seniors, especially those on a fixed income, be able to afford the drugs they need and reduce the chance to skip doses, ration their medicine or go into debt to buy the drugs they need to maintain their health.

“The power to negotiate lower drug prices will significantly impact New Jersey residents like Gabriela Sadote who states, ’My husband takes Coumadin, a blood thinner, but his doctors would have preferred he be on Eliquis because it’s easier to monitor. Unfortunately, it was too expensive. This potential price reduction will allow him to use the medications he prefers. In the future, I hope there are reforms that will address inflammatory-related diseases for people of all ages. Any change in these drug prices will be a blessing and opportunity to better manage difficult, invasive conditions. Any change in these drug prices will be a blessing and opportunity to better manage difficult, invasive conditions.’

“Selecting these drugs is just the first step. Over the next year, CMS will need to aggressively negotiate with drug corporations in order to arrive at fair prices that patients can afford. Rather than fight the new law with frivolous lawsuits, the drug corporations should cooperate. Big Pharma corporations like Johnson & Johnson, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Merck have made billions from patients already. Negotiations will lower prices and still allow them to make a profit but without the relentless price-gouging that hurts patients.

“Today’s announcement is a transformative step in the right direction and after years of fighting against Big Pharma, it feels as though the tides are finally turning. We ask the Administration and members of Congress to continue to build on the achievements of the IRA by supporting efforts like New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone’s Lower Drug Costs for American Families Act which expands lower negotiated prices to all Americans.”