Patients need

Medicare to negotiate

lower drug prices on behalf of Americans.

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What is it?

  • Since the creation of the Medicare prescription drug program known as Part D in 2003, Medicare has been banned from negotiating directly with drug companies for lower prices on prescription drugs.
  • Drug companies used their power to get this provision into Part D and have fought to keep it ever since then.
  • This means that for many of the most expensive brand-name drugs, patients have to pay based on whatever price drug companies dictate.
  • Congress can pass legislation to let Medicare negotiate lower drug prices on behalf of Americans.

Why do we need it?

  • Because our government can’t negotiate directly with drug companies, Americans pay three to four times what people in similar countries pay for the exact same brand-name drugs.
  • As a result, 1 in 3 adults report not taking their medication as prescribed due to cost.
  • Without reforms, 1.1 million beneficiaries could die this decade because they can’t afford the drugs they need.
  • Negotiation would help incentivize drug companies to develop truly innovative new drugs that can command a good return on investment, and disincentivize companies from raising prices at will on old drugs. It will ensure the innovation patients need at prices we can afford.

How do we get it done?

  • The Senate just voted to pass the Inflation Reduction act which includes historic drug pricing provisions. The Senate bill includes provisions that will meaningfully lower drug prices for millions of Americans, including Medicare negotiation. The legislation would deliver relief to patients by allowing Medicare to negotiate the prices of some expensive drugs for the first time, curbing Big Pharma’s price hikes so drug prices for Medicare cannot increase faster than the rate of inflation, and capping out-of-pocket drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries at $2,000 each month.
  • Now the Inflation Reduction Act, and the drug price provisions, is headed to the House of Representatives! And we need a majority of the representatives to vote YES on the legislation. But right now your representatives are hearing from powerful pharma lobbyists who are fighting to kill the drug price reforms. That’s why it is more important now than ever that patients send a clear message to the House: Pass the Inflation Reduction Act to lower drug prices for Americans.
  • We’re closer than we ever have been to changing the lives of millions of Americans by lowering the prices of prescription drugs. Patients’ lives are on the line. Your representatives need to hear from you that you are depending on them to pass the Inflation Reduction Act NOW.

President Biden on Medicare Negotiation

Real People, Real STories

Hear from Patient Advocates

“Two years ago, I was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, an autoimmune disorder that affects my spine and has spread to most of my major joints. I currently take the very expensive biologic Taltz, which is priced at over $6,000 a month. That’s simply money I don’t have as a college student. I’m going to have to take an expensive biologic for the rest of my life, so I’m concerned that without provisions like Medicare negotiation put in place to rein in this behavior, I will be priced out of my drug.”

— Jacqueline Garibay
Austin, Texas

“As a retired senior, I have Medicare for prescription drug coverage. The monthly price of the Imbruvica I need to manage my cancer is now over $14,000. Who can possibly afford that? We need Medicare to be able to negotiate for lower drug prices for me and all of the other patients who are struggling.”

— Lynn Scarfuto
Herkimer, New York

“After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I had to leave my job and move back to Michigan in order to be near my family for support. The Kesimpta I am prescribed to treat my MS has a list price of over $12,000 per month. There have been times when I had to forgo my treatment for months at a time while I waited for grants to be approved, and my symptoms worsened. I could lose my independence, solely because of outrageous drug prices. Congress can fix this. Let Medicare negotiate lower drug prices for patients like me! ”

— Lisa McRipley
Auburn Hills, MI

What the Experts are Saying

“Medicare should negotiate drug prices across the board… This isn’t a partisan issue. Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cancer don’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Republican. This is about whether or not you and your loved ones can afford the prescription drugs you need.”

— President Joe Biden

“There is no reason why Americans pay two or three times as much for drugs that are manufactured in the U.S. as do people in other countries. So, we’re going to go and do something the old-fashioned way, an American tradition: negotiate to get a better price. Congress looks like it’s on its way to making [Medicare negotiation] happen, and we will do everything we can at HHS to support their efforts.”

— HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra

“Our goal is to lower the cost of prescription drugs for the American people. In order to do that, it is essential we have the power to negotiate.”

— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi

“The American people are overwhelmingly of the view that when you have 50 million seniors plus in Medicare, the program ought to negotiate to get them a good deal. Who in the world doesn’t negotiate when you got all those people who are counting on you?”

— Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden

“Americans pay three, four, or ten times the amount that people pay in other countries for the exact same drug. How is that fair? It’s not — in fact, it’s outrageous and it is long past time that we negotiate a better deal for Americans.”

— House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr.

On allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices: “That should have been done years ago. How in the heck that never was done doesn’t make any sense at all.”

— Sen. Joe Manchin

“It is an unconscionable abuse to the American people that pharma does not compete for drugs provided under Medicare Part D. We are the defenders of competition and free enterprise, so why not with pharma? Allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices for over 43 million Americans enrolled in Medicare Part D is one of the best solutions to lower medication costs and ensure access to the prescriptions they need. These negotiations will make prescription prices lower for our seniors.”

— Former Rep. Francis Rooney

“Legislation that allows Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices on behalf of Americans will ensure we get the innovation we need at prices patients can afford. Let’s get it done.”

— David Mitchell, Cancer patient and founder of Patients For Affordable Drugs Now