Government, pharma companies initiate price talks for 10 of the most expensive drugs

Feb.1 marks the first day that federal officials will negotiate the price for 10 of the most expensive drugs as part of the Biden administration's Inflation Reduction Act, The Hill reported.

Companies will have one month to either accept or reject and counteroffer prices for the 10 drugs. 

In August 2023, the HHS announced the 10 drugs it would begin negotiating — which in total cost Medicare enrollees $3.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs in 2022 alone.

The 10 drugs included in the first round of negotiations are: Eliquis, Jardiance, Xarelto, Januvia, Farxiga, Entresto, Enbrel, Imbruvica, Stelara and Fiasp (as well as related Fiasp varieties). 

Drug companies have opposed the new rule allowing for negotiation since it could lead to lower profits, and some officials say investment in research and development could suffer. Some companies are attempting to sue the administration over it, according to The Hill.

"For far too long, pharmaceutical companies have made record profits while American families were saddled with record prices and unable to afford life-saving prescription drugs…" HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra stated in the August 2023 news release. "Although drug companies are attempting to block Medicare from being able to negotiate for better drug prices, we will not be deterred."

If the federal government comes out on top in the midst of the lawsuits, CMS will publish the updated prices of the 10 drugs by Sept. 1, 2024. Though, prices will not go into effect until 2026. 

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