First Drugs Hit by Inflation Reduction Act Price Controls

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27 drugs within Medicare will face penalties for having their prices raised faster than the rate of inflation.

The Biden-Harris administration, through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced on March 15, 2023 a list of prescription drugs for which Part B beneficiary coinsurances may be lower. Taking effect from April 1, 2023 to June 30, 2023, Medicare recipients may save between $2 and $390 per average dose on affected medications, although drugmakers will not be expected to pay these rebates until 2025.

According to the agency press release, these price controls, instituted on 27 different drugs, are set to hit drugs whose price increases have outpaced the rate of inflation. The full list of the affected drugs (1) notably includes heavy-hitters such as AbbVie’s Humira (adalimumab) and Astellas Pharma’s and Seagen’s Padcev (enfortumab vedotin). Other affected companies include Gilead Sciences, Johnson &Johnson, and Pfizer; Pfizer, had the most drugs named of any other company, with five drugs on the list,.

“The Biden-Harris Administration believes people with Medicare shouldn’t be on the hook when drug companies inexplicably jack up the prices of their drugs,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra in a CMS press release. “President Biden made lowering prescription drug costs for Americans a top priority, and we’re using every lever we have to deliver results. With the inflation rebate program, we are fighting to ensure seniors can afford the treatments they need, taxpayers aren’t subsidizing drug company excess prices, and the Medicare program is strong for millions of beneficiaries now and in the future.”

Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services



1. CMS, “Reduced Coinsurance for Certain Part B Rebatable Drugs under the Medicare Prescription Drug Inflation Rebate Program,” Press Release, March 15, 2023.