Great Falls, Montana – This week, key action from the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act took effect.
Montanans and millions of other Medicare recipients will likely find their pharmaceutical selections cheaper over time.
Medicare can now negotiate prescription costs with manufacturers to cut prices beginning on Tuesday, August 29, 2023.
The most expensive Medicare Part B and Part D medicines will be affected.
Medicare negotiates Eliquis, Jardiance, Xarelto, Januvia, Farxiga, Entresto, Enbrel, Imbruvica, Stelara, and Novo Nordisk insulin for patients.
Montana seniors take these ten medicines most.
The first price cap should be completed by September 2024. Medicare out-of-pocket prescription drug costs will be capped at $2,000 by 2025. The above medications will be discounted in 2026. Insulin will cost $35 per covered prescription each month.
Medicare inflation refunds are part of the Inflation Reduction Act. The new law mandates drug firms to repay Medicare if they raise prices faster than inflation.
“It’s a constant discussion in our world, especially as a pharmacist,” Montana Apothecary & Compounding owner Shelbi Witt. “You get calls every single day on drug prices. ‘What’s your price on this? How do I get my insurance to pay for this’?”
She noted, “I think it’s important for the patient to be educated about drug prices. That’s the number one thing as the patient, having that gumption to go and ask what is the price?”
Numerous pharmaceutical companies have sued, calling the meddling unconstitutional.
“Today’s announcement is the result of a rushed process focused on short-term political gain rather than what is best for patients,” said the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America in a statement. “Many of the medicines selected for price setting already have significant rebates and discounts due to the robust private market negotiation that occurs in the Part D program today. 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.”