Pharmaceutical Companies Face Penalties, Leading to Reduced Medication Costs for Elderly Americans


Three hundred thousand older Americans will be able to pay less for some outpatient drug treatments starting early next year, the Biden administration said Thursday.

The White House put out a list of 48 drugs whose prices have gone up faster than the rate of inflation this year. Some of these are cancer treatments that are injected. Because the prices went up, a new law says that drug companies will have to give refunds to the federal government. The money will be used to lower the prices of drugs for people with Medicare at the start of next year.

The fines for drug treatment that doesn’t happen in a hospital will be used for the first time since the Inflation Reduction Act was passed by Congress last year. People who get refunds will save anywhere from $1 to $2,700 on drugs that the White House says 750,000 older Americans use every year.

The rebates are “an important tool to discourage excessive price increases and protect people with Medicare,” said Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, who runs the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in a Thursday statement.

As the Biden government gets ready to run for reelection in 2024, it has started a number of programs to put pressure on drug companies to lower the prices of prescriptions. For the first time ever, the White House said last week that it was thinking about a bold new strategy: taking away the patents on some drugs that most Americans can’t afford.

“On no. “We’ve upset Big Pharma yet again,” the White House said last week on X, the social network that used to be Twitter.

Thursday, the US Department of Health and Human Services released a study that will help guide its first-ever talks with drug companies about the prices of ten of Medicare’s most expensive drugs. Next year, HHS will try to get new prices for some medicines.

As the talks happen during the busy campaign season for next year’s president, Biden’s campaign is likely to use drug companies as a target a lot. Trying to lower the cost of medicines will be a big part of the president’s effort to stay in office. He is going to talk more about it later today at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Washington, D.C.

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