WV CAG Statement Concerning First Ten Prescription Drugs Named for Long-awaited Medicare Negotiations to Lower Prices

 

For Immediate Release

***Tuesday, August 29th, 2023***

Contact: Eve Marcum-Atkinson

Phone: 614-357-8533

Email: eve@wvcag.org

PDF for download

 

First Ten Prescription Drugs Named 
for Long-awaited Medicare Negotiations to Lower Prices

 

Drug manufacturers of Xarelto, Eliquis, Januvia and other medicines targeted for negotiations pursue lawsuits to overturn the law, keep profits extreme

[Charleston, WV]: In response to today’s announcement about the first ten prescription drugs that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have selected for lower prices through Part D Medicare negotiations, Eve Marcum-Atkinson, Director of Healthcare Advocacy for West Virginia Citizen Action Group, released the following statement:

“Today represents another major milestone in what has been a long journey toward finally making medicines affordable for millions of people in Medicare. President Biden and Congress kept their promises to lower health costs last year by passing this historic reform that will finally enable Medicare to negotiate prices on the most expensive medicines in Part D including Eliquis, Jardiance, Xarelto, Januvia, Farxiga, Entresto, Enbrel, Imbruvica, Stelara, Fiasp and NovoLog.  Once implemented, 5 to 7 million more Medicare patients will save money on treating everything from diabetes to cancer and taxpayers can expect to save over $98 billion over the next decade. Our veterans have benefited from VA price negotiations for decades. It’s past time we allow our seniors to have the same relief from overpriced prescription medications.”

“That means people like my father can finally have some hope that the medicine he needs will be affordable rather than having to skip doses, ration medicine or go into debt to buy prescriptions.”

“Dad has COPD, and recently was diagnosed with blood clots. He pays nearly $300 a month for his Medicare Part D and MediGold coverage. To treat his COPD, he takes Flovent and Incruse, together costing over $200 a month. And, with his recent blood clots, he’s now on Eliquis. I had to pay for his refill because it was $136 for one month’s supply. Each of these medications are on the anticipated list of drugs whose prices are to be negotiated for Medicare recipients, and Eliquis is on today’s first list of 10.”

“For my father and for millions across our nation, skipping medications is a life threatening way to make it to the end of the month. Making ends meet with rising property taxes, utilities, and the cost of groceries has been very difficult for anyone on a fixed income. Dad keeps doing without in order to make it work, and he’s not alone. This ain’t right. We, as a nation, can do better and must do better. “

“Selecting these ten drugs is just the first step. Now, CMS will have to move forward aggressively to negotiate with the drug corporations in order to arrive at fair prices that patients can afford. Rather than fight the new law with frivolous lawsuits, the drug corporations should cooperate. Johnson & Johnson (Jansen), Bristol Myers Squibb, Merck and Eli Lilly/Boehringer Ingelheim and Pfizer/Astellas have made billions from overcharging patients. Negotiations will lower prices and still allow them to make a profit but without the relentless price-gouging that hurts patients and Medicare.”

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