WASHINGTON, D.C. — The following statement was issued by David Mitchell, a cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now, in response to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announcement of the first ten drugs for which Medicare will negotiate lower prices as part of the Inflation Reduction Act:
“This is a momentous day for patients across the country. Finally beginning to undo the nearly 20-year ban on Medicare using its purchasing power to get lower prices, Medicare will now negotiate for a better deal for these ten high-cost drugs. The list includes essential life-saving medications – cancer treatments, blood thinners, autoimmune disease treatments, diabetes drugs – that people in this country have been paying unjustified amounts for decades, while drug companies have used Medicare as a piggy bank raising prices to hit profit targets and trigger executive bonuses.
Get full details from CMS about these drugs and what they can do here.
“I am one of millions of people in this country who take Eliquis (apixaban), a blood thinner that has a list price of almost $7,000 in the U.S. because its maker, Bristol-Myers Squibb, has blocked competition. In Canada, where there is a generic, the price is less than $1,700. With negotiations, millions of patients will finally get a more affordable price for drugs like Eliquis.
“We look forward to continuing to work with CMS and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure the law is implemented despite opposition from Big Pharma, and that patients finally begin to get a better deal for these ten high-priced medications and another 50 by 2029. We’ve been waiting far too long for this relief. This is just the beginning and we will continue pushing on all fronts to lower drug prices for everyone.”
The following statements are from patients around the country who are on some of the ten drugs on the list to be negotiated first for lower prices:
- “After years of having to forgo or ration some of my drugs because of their high costs, I can’t tell you what it means for me to see Januvia on the list of the first drugs for Medicare negotiation,” said Steven Hadfield of Matthews, North Carolina, who lives with a rare cancer and type 2 diabetes. “To treat my diabetes, I take Januvia, which carries a monthly list price of $547. Drugmaker Merck has made a fortune from patients like me who are forced to pay whatever price the company dictates. A fairer price for Januvia will mean a world of difference.”
- “I was shocked and terrified when the pharmacist told me the monthly copay for Xarelto after insurance would be $1,000. There was no way I could afford that!” said Ellen Farmer, who lives in Attleboro, Massachusetts and takes blood thinner Xarelto to treat her atrial fibrillation. “Johnson & Johnson, the drug company that makes Xarelto, has increased the price of its medicine by more than 111 percent since it first entered the market 12 years ago. The fact that Xarelto is on the first list of drugs to be negotiated gives me so much relief.”
- “Enbrel costs me around $330 a month with my Medicare advantage plan – and its list price is over $7,000. This type of pricing unfairly takes advantage of those on Medicare, many of whom, like me, live on a fixed income,” said Judy Aiken of Portland, Maine who lives with autoimmune disease psoriatic arthritis and psoriasis. “Seeing Enbrel on the list of drugs to be negotiated first allows me to take a deeper breath and honestly live a better life. Enbrel’s high price has been a real burden, a constant anxiety. A better deal on this drug is life changing for me and thousands of patients.”
The prices of the following ten drugs will be the first to be negotiated by Medicare:
- Fiasp; Fiasp FlexTouch; Fiasp PenFill; NovoLog; NovoLog FlexPen; NovoLog PenFill