Medicare Negotiation

Get The Facts

Access

Right now, Big Pharma is bankrolling an ad campaign worth more than 20 million dollars against the reforms that would allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices.

Even worse? The ads are purposefully misleading. Why? They want to scare patients and prevent any drug pricing reform from passing into law. So, let’s get the facts.

Here’s why these claims are false:

Pharma Claim

Congress wants to repeal a provision in Medicare that protects access to medicines.

Why it’s false

These ads reference Part D’s “non-interference clause,” which has nothing to do with determining which drugs patients can access under Medicare. The non-interference clause simply prohibits the Secretary of Health and Human Services from negotiating lower drug prices for patients and taxpayers.

Fact

It’s the high drug prices that patients face due to the Secretary’s inability to negotiate that limit access to drugs patients need.

Pharma Claim

Medicare negotiation proposals would enable bureaucrats to decide which drugs Medicare beneficiaries get.

Why it’s false

There are no congressional proposals that would change Part D’s long-standing policy of covering every drug in six protected classes, drugs for all conditions, and at least two medications in each drug class.

Fact

The provisions in the Build Back Better Act will maintain all current requirements for drug coverage on Medicare and would not establish a new formulary system. Drug price negotiation reforms simply aim to achieve affordable prices for taxpayers and patients.

Pharma Claim

Negotiation would reduce access and “make it harder for people on Medicare to get the medications [they] need.”

Why it’s false

The Build Back Better Act and Medicare negotiation would not prevent patients from accessing their medications.

Fact

In fact, the Build Back Better Act would make drugs more accessible, not less. The biggest access issue for prescription drugs in our current system is high prices. Right now, 1 in 3 adults do not take medication as prescribed due to cost. Without reform, more than 1.1 million Medicare patients could die over the next decade because they cannot afford to pay for their prescription medications. With the provisions in the Build Back Better Act, prices would go down and access would increase.

Pharma Claim

Medicare negotiation would stifle research and development.

Why it’s false

Right now, drug companies lack incentive to take risk and invest in R&D for  innovative new drugs because they are allowed to block competition and raise prices at will on old drugs to drive profits and trigger executive bonuses. 

Fact

The CBO’s report on the Build Back Better Act proves that the provisions in Build Back Better would not stifle innovation. CBO found that the plan would only decrease the number of new drugs coming to market by 10 out of 1,300 over the next thirty years — a less than 1 percent reduction. The Build Back Better Act actually rewards true innovation by allowing drug companies to set launch prices and awarding companies up to 13 years before being subject to price negotiation in Medicare. The reform will assess drugs’ clinical efficacy when determining negotiated prices so the federal government can reward truly innovative drugs.

Pharma Claim

Medicare negotiation would import “European-style price controls.”

Why it’s false

Negotiation is a core tenet of a free market, not “European-style price controls.” The government negotiates for everything it buys, from aircraft carriers to copy paper.

Fact

The pharmaceutical industry is the only health care sector exempt from negotiation with Medicare, meaning it has the ability to dictate prices to the government. The proposal for negotiation would simply end special treatment for Big Pharma.

Pharma Claim

Policy proposals like H.R. 3 would eliminate jobs in the biomedical sector.

Why it’s false

An analysis found that the pharmaceutical industry could see a decrease in revenue of up to $1 trillion and still be the most profitable industry in the world. The Congressional Budget Office predicts pharma will see a much smaller reduction in pharma’s revenue — closer to a couple hundred billion. This tiny reduction in revenue cannot possibly cripple the ability of the industry to invest in research and development.

Fact

The AFL-CIO and other organizations that protect workers and jobs support Medicare negotiation.