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White House Drugs List Shows Why Price Negotiation Powers Must Be Quickly Expanded

Washington, D.C. – Today, the White House is announcing the 10 drugs that Medicare will negotiate under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Earlier this month, more than 70 groups and 150,000 individuals demanded that the industry drop their lawsuits to block the drug price negotiation provisions of the IRA, and several organizations filed an amicus brief in support of the Biden administration. In response, Peter Maybarduk, director of the Access to Medicines program at Public Citizen, released the following statement:

“The negotiated drugs list is a watershed moment for medicine affordability. Drug corporations pretend this is a catastrophe, but I would rather see that money in seniors’ pockets than Big Pharma’s.

“Drug corporations, in crude arrogance, are suing to limit price negotiations under the IRA. But the list shows instead how important it is to expand those negotiation powers. Several monopolized drugs that are expensive for Medicare today are exempted from price negotiation, and will remain expensive. One reason for this is a many-years long grace period after a drug first comes to market. During those years, drugmakers will exploit patent monopolies with minimal checks on profiteering. That profiteering period is even longer for biologics, which comprise some of the most exorbitantly priced drugs.

“IRA should be expanded and consistently improved, toward supporting affordable medicine for all, rather than limited or delayed to mollify pharma monopolists. The Biden administration has our support as it resists unjust lawsuits and implements the strongest possible IRA.”