Biden lowers the cost of 64 medications through penalties on pharmaceutical companies

The Government of Democrat Joe Biden reported this Wednesday that it will impose inflation penalties to reduce the cost of 64 prescription drugs in the third quarter of this year, which will benefit many older patients enrolled in Medicare.

Biden has made reducing drug prices a pillar of his health agenda and his re-election bid.

A provision of the Inflation Reduction Act requires drug companies to pay rebates to Medicare, the federal health program for people over 65, if they raise the price of a drug above the inflation rate.

This is a separate provision in the law that allows Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices with manufacturers. On average, patients pay two to three times more than in other developed countries for prescription drugs, according to the Biden Administration.

With this new measure, some will pay a lower coinsurance for those 64 medications, which are part of Medicare Part B, for the period from July 1 to September 30, “since pharmaceutical companies raised prices above of the inflation rate,” according to a statement from the Biden Administration.

Some patients can save up to $4,593 a day by using those medications during the quarter, the statement added.

More than 750,000 Medicare patients use these drugs each year, according to the White House; some will be able to save up to $4,593 a day during this quarter. The drugs treat conditions such as cancer, infections and osteoporosis.

“Without the Inflation Reduction Act, seniors were completely exposed to Big Pharma’s price increases. Not anymore,” White House adviser Neera Tanden said in the statement.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services plans to send the first bills to drug manufacturers in 2025 for rebates owed to the program.

Biden in December released a list of 48 prescription drugs that would be subject to inflation penalties during the first quarter of 2024.