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Biden Admin to Negotiate Drug Prices – Fix? Or Socialist BS?

Biden Admin to Negotiate Drug Prices – Fix? Or Socialist BS?

President Joe Biden is finally making good on his campaign promise to reduce the cost of prescription drugs…sort of.

Government officials with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will soon conduct their first-ever price negotiations for 10 prescription drugs. The drugs were handpicked from a list of more than 7,500 medications and were chosen because they represent a high cost to consumers and Medicare and/or do not have direct competitors.

List of medications being negotiated: 

  • Eliquis (blood thinner)
  • Jardiance (diabetes)
  • Enbrel (arthritis)
  • Entresto (heart failure)
  • Farxiga (diabetes/heart failure)
  • Xarelto (blood thinner)
  • Imbruvica (leukemia)
  • Stelara (psoriasis/inflammatory disorders)
  • Fiasp & NovoLog (diabetes)
  • Januvia (diabetes)

Over the past year, Americans spent $3.4 billion to obtain these drugs and Medicare spent over $50 billion.

The negotiation process is expected to take some time, with the first offers being made to pharmaceutical companies in February of next year and the new prices taking effect in 2026. Any drugmaker that refuses to take part in the negotiations will be forced to remove their products from Medicare/Medicaid coverage or pay taxes of up to 95%.

The goal of the program is “to basically make drugs more affordable while also still allowing for profits to be made,” says Gretchen Jacobson, a researcher with the Commonwealth Fund.

The negotiations are made possible through the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA), which aims to curb inflation by lowering the cost of prescription drugs, reducing the federal deficit, and investing in domestic energy production.

Spending well over $300 billion annually, Medicare is by far America’s largest purchaser of prescription drugs. For the first time in US history, the government-funded program will have the ability to negotiate directly with drugmakers to achieve lower prices on a limited number of drugs per year.

The goal is to save $25 billion annually on prescription drugs by 2031.

A majority of these savings will go to Medicare, which plans to pass the benefits to consumers by establishing a cap of $2,000 per year for how much its patients must pay out of pocket for prescription drugs. The IRA has already established a cap of $35 a month for how much Medicare patients must pay for insulin. The agency plans to add 15 medications to the list by 2027, an additional 15 by 2028, and 20 each year after that.

The news of upcoming negotiations is purported to be light at the end of the tunnel for many aging Americans who are forced to spend thousands of dollars each year on living-saving medication. According to a study conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, nearly 10% of Medicare patients aged 65 and older will occasionally skip or ignore prescriptions due to cost.

“No senior should have to choose between whether they fill their prescription or fill their fridge,” said Vice President Kamala Harris this week.

Not surprisingly, Big Pharma fiercely opposes the price negotiations and has already filed a series of lawsuits against the federal government.

Primary arguments include:

  • The powers granted to Medicare by the IRA are unconstitutional
  • The cost savings Medicare is trying to achieve will hamper research and development
  • Companies are being forced into negotiations against their will, thereby violating the 1st Amendment
  • Being forced to sell products at lowered rates constitutes unlawful government seizure, thereby violating the 5th Amendment
  • The fines Medicare can implement for noncompliance are excessive, thereby violating the 8th Amendment

“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,” argues lobbying group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA).

“Many of the medicines selected for price setting already have significant rebates and discounts,” says PhRMA CEO Stephen J. Ubl, adding that the list of medications being negotiated resulted from a “rushed process focused on short-term political gain rather than what is best for patients.”

As some have pointed out, pharmacy benefit managers may attempt to evade lowered prices by moving drugs into a different tier or creating new requirements for prescription coverage. Based on the level of opposition we’re seeing from pharmaceutical companies, I wouldn’t be surprised if this issue lands in the Supreme Court.

Author’s Note: The government should be able to secure lower prices through these negotiations, but whether these prices last is a different question. This is a socialist solution and socialism always backfires! Already, analysts are warning of the possibility that companies will respond to lowered prices by delaying product launches, restricting access to certain drugs, and even manipulating research.

Editor’s Note: This is merely an added socialist method to the socialist construct that is the current medical system.  The AMA restricts the number of doctors who can be trained, insurance processes make the costs opaque, and insurance premiums rise because why not.  Yes, our healthcare system is in crisis, but no this is not a solution. At best it is a temporary reprieve.

Sources:

10 drugs targeted for Medicare price negotiations as Biden pitches cost reductions

Biden Administration targets drugs from J&J, Merck for controversial Medicare price negotiations

US names the first 10 drugs for Medicare price negotiation

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6 Comments

  1. Mike f

    So the editors solution is what? Alice, you denigrate these actions but in typical republican fashion you offer no alternative solution. Your solution is to just allow big pharma to continue to make huge profits on the American consumer. You ignore the fact that the dreaded ‘socialism’ is working in the rest of the western world, where drug prices are dramatically lower than in the US. Yes, this program may have to be tweaked in the future as more is learned, but it is a hell of a lot better than anything proposed by republicans (that would be nothing for those who are not politically astute).

  2. frank stetson

    Both the Author and Editor seem somewhat out of touch on the IRA price negotiations calling it a socialist solution where all socialism always fails. I have my doubts whether they know what socialism is or why people call the IRA drug pricing negotiations socialism in action. The idiot editor even goes as far as to say: “This is merely an added socialist method to the socialist construct that is the current medical system,” which, of course, it isn’t. Have you seen your health bills? You insurance premiums? Do they ring out: SOCIALISM or freaking used-car lot capitalism run amuck? The editor then blames the AMA for this, that’s a new one for me and does not make any sense at all.

    Social Security and Medicare are socialist programs that have not failed, yet. Of course, that’s socialism for the old, the rest of you can suck eggs for health. Everyone has the socialist programs for welfare, military, unemployment, public education, even the library, all fucking loser socialist programs doomed by the author for failure. Except they aren’t.

    Minimum wage, child labor laws, max hours worked laws — socialism.

    All those business subsidies – socialism.

    Fact is Medicare and Insurers already lobby for lower prices on services, that’s why we have a maximum payment allowed number that benefits many sectors in medicine.

    Frankly, the false assumption that the author and editor make, as well as most Americans, is that the Health Industry is a free market in our capitalist system. It isn’t and never has been.

    So tell us, since you made the bold claim, how is price negotiation considered socialism. Because I am from New Jersey, and we rarely pay list price. That’s for free-market capitalist Republicans I guess.

  3. Darren

    I am not a Republican, but I am for Trump. Unfortunately he ran as a Republican with all the old crap stigmatized to it.
    Lowering the price of prescription Drugs is a great idea, this is why when Trump tried to do it he got no backing from
    Democrat’s. It is about time Biden did something to help the people in the country he has been destroying.
    I just wonder how much in kick backs he is receiving. That money whore!

  4. frank stetson

    Darren, replacing ObamaCare was one of Trump’s first major failures in 2017 after lying that “it’s easy for me to do,” and failing miserably not only to end ObamaCare, but to even explain what the superior, now forgotten, Trump Health Care, known as THC for the simple hallucinatory reality of calling it the truth. Come on —- tell us the top benefit of THC. Any special feature even? Is that pending crickets I don’t hear?

    Then, in desperation to be elected he announced a stealth EO at the end of September 2020, four years into his throne time just before he grabbed any document not nailed down and ran for the door. This replaced the previous Trump EO, signed two months earlier that no one knew about. The bill suggested that we would pay no more than foreign countries pay. IOW — our US drug pricing was to be controlled by the Trump regime which would be controlled by Foreign nations, many of which are socialist, some are communist. Now, that’s progress of a capitalistic form to have socialist countries peg your drug pricing thanks to Trump.

    NTW — like many things Trump, all bluster, no luster, can seem to muster it up to get it done. Just like EJ, lots of bumping and grinding, digitally raped buy no penis penetration. Can’t complete the act. Nothing happened with drug pricing until Biden.

    Darren, you can look it up yourself — try NPR for some truth. Trump even held drug co. talks but wouldn’t talk about it. Transparent as usual. Darren, you’ve been lied to once again and you like it! Face it, you like it when Trump tells you things that make you feel good. Even if he delivers nothing but lies. You have been weighed, you have been measured, and you have been deemed really stupid by Trump who believes he can tell you anything. Look it up, see if you still think “he got no backing from
    Democrat’s” because the facts say that he buggered HealthCare up a minimum of three times —- all by himself.

  5. Darren

    Maybe so , but everything he did in office was with out anyone backing, help or input.
    Democrat’s & Republicans alike joined forces with the media to see anything he tried would fail.

    I did not Vote for Trump only because of what he said he could do, but it was being lied to by BOTH
    PARTYS for decades is why I voted for Trump.
    And I will vote for him again.
    A leopard does not change its spots as all of Washington D C has their own agenda.
    Washington does not care about you Frank, or me for that matter. I can live with that, all I want is a fair chance.
    Look at what they did to Trump. Look at how they treat the Biden’s.
    I want you to go to the youngest member in your family and tell them in this country if they try hard, yes, they could some day become president.
    You and me both know what is taking place in this country, and your words to you nephew or who ever would be BULL SHIT!

    • frank stetson

      Darren says: “Maybe so , but everything he did in office was without anyone backing, help or input.” Well, congratulations and may the force of critical thinking keep you from the dark side. Maybe so is a first for PBP devotees and I thank you and recommend further reading to decide if maybe is probably….. I agree, he had little backing, mostly because he is stupid and incompetent, but without help or input, nope, he had plenty. Most of anything he ever did was someone else’s idea. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, he was President, not legislator. But — taxes featured many Ryan elements, immigration – Sessions, and so on and so on. Problem was he cut off and insulted over half the country.

      But, IMO, that’s where it ends and you should quit declaring Trump the victim as rationale. First, it’s up to him, plenty of predecessors faced low polls, tough times, scant support, and they didn’t break the law to win a second term. And Trump did not even have tough times until covid, and we all know how he buggered that one up earning the US covid score of: you suck compared to other developed nations. How many million dead? On the other side, Bill Clinton face this heat and he did just fine; better economy than Trump’s, LBJ got a lot done and look what he faced.

      Darren, I am from NJ, have a nice property, bear ramble five feet from my back door on occasion and a neighbor got some nice picks of a huge bob cat the other day. Under Trump’s tax cuts, I pay more taxes than before Trump. Just about anything Trump-good money-wise, does not apply to me. That pretty much puts Trump in the toilet in my book, a toilet where he can read his stolen documents.

      “A leopard does not change its spots” is right all right in that Trump will begin his next Presidency where he left off at 1.6.2021 as he has promises to be your retribution. I believe he is pissed, full of revenge, and has a list. I am on the side he will be seeking retribution on. And he is really pissed. He thinks he can do no wrong. Pretty impossible for me and mine to vote for that pain.

      People listened to him on 1.6.2021. Many are in jail for criminal acts of violence against our Capitol, the people in it, and the people protecting it. Trump was in retribution mode. I do not want more of that. As they trotted off to jail, many were in tears, blaming Trump, and begging forgiveness for what they called their stupidity for listening to Trump. Read the transcripts, hear what Trump’s most loyal say today.

      Washington may not care about me; you may be right. Trump hates me and given the chance, will be coming for me and anyone he seeks retribution from over his transgressions of the law. After he finishes off his initial list, do you believe it stops? Or does he just name his next round of American targets.

      “if they try hard, yes, they could someday become president” is a noble statement. I think when you show them the Trump mug shot, they may choose to be a plumber instead out of fear of what the Presidency turns you into.

      “all I want is a fair chance” is fair enough and if you get it with Trump, I guess you will just live with, or frankly jump up and down for, what he does to me and mine. Maybe you can even steal my stuff, rape my women, have a real fun time in the persecutions.

      But the bottom line, YOU are trusting a guy who: got her in a dressing room alone, slammed her against the wall, pinned her, reached up under her dress, pulled down her tights, wiggled his fingers inside her panties and jammed them up her vagina penetrating her for his pleasure. How can you support a digital rapist sex abuser and what do you tell you kids about that and their desire to be a President like that? Is that the look in the mug shot? And then he did Stormy only days after Barron was born, that’s worthy of your support too? How do you wash those stains off? Do you blame Schumer and Pelosi for that? Do you blame us when he ripped off his students? When he stole from his own charity foundation? When he falsified business records for free private schools, houses, and the like? And soon — documents, elections, more business crimes, and more —- over 90 charges, four venues, do you really think he’s gonna skate? Are you really electing an adjudicated person liable for many crimes?

  1. Horist: makes you wonder what Reagan did so poorly that moved him behind a couple of racists. Twas 154 scholars…

  2. Joseph S Bruder..... LMAO. Your list has the two most racist presidents of the 20th Century ahead of Reagan. FDR…