Here are the first 10 drugs that Medicare will target for price cuts


Medicare will begin to negotiate prices for 10 medications prescribed to Medicare patients. The pharmaceutical companies have filed lawsuits, claiming that the move was unconstitutional.

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George Frey/Getty Images

Medicare will begin to negotiate prices for ten drugs prescribed to Medicare patients. Pharmaceutical companies have launched lawsuits, saying the move is unconstitutional.

George Frey/Getty Images

The Biden administration released its list of the first 10 drugs that Medicare will target for price cuts – reductions the government plans to achieve by negotiating the prices with drug makers.

People on Medicare who took the 10 drugs paid a total of $3.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs for them in 2022, according to the government. Medicare’s cost was higher.

The list includes Eliquis, a drug to prevent blood clots used by more than 3.7 million people on Medicare in the year ending May 2023 at a cost of $16.4 billion to the program, and Xarelto, another blood thinner used by more than 1.3 million people on Medicare at a cost to the program of more than $6 billion.

Diabetes drugs Jardiance, Januvia, Farxiga and Fiasp/Novolog are on the list, as are Enbrel and Stelara, drugs used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and Crohn’s disease. Imbruvica is a blood cancer drug. Negotiations will take place over the next two-year period, and prices will be announced on Sept. 1, 2024. But the lower prices for the drugs won’t begin until 2026.

President Biden is expected to make the price negotiations part of his stump speech as he campaigns for reelection in 2024. Biden stated in a Tuesday statement that there is no reason for Americans to be forced to pay higher prices than other developed nations to fill the pockets of Big Pharma. The lobby group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America said that the change would give the government too much control and hinder the investment and innovation needed to support the Biden administration’s fight against cancer. “Today’s announcement is the result of a rushed process focused on short-term political gain rather than what is best for patients,” PhRMA CEO Stephen Ubl said in a statement.

Average prices for prescription drugs in the United States are much higher than in other parts of the world. While other countries have determined methods for setting prices for drugs, the U.S. government is starting from scratch.

“That includes a lot of back and forth with the drug companies about things like their research and development costs and the cost of manufacturing the drugs,” as well as federal investments in research that helped develop the drugs, said Stacie Dusetzina of Vanderbilt University’s School of Medicine.

The law allows for more prices to be negotiated for 2027 and subsequent years.