Will Biden lower drug prices?

Published by Health Professional

on Friday, March 17th 2023


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  • On Wednesday, President Joe Biden declared that his government was “intensely” devoted to lowering healthcare prices. He also took aim at “MAGA” Republicans, accusing them of wanting to reduce the scope of Medicare coverage for millions of People.

    Biden used a speech in Las Vegas, where he was ending off a three-day Western tour, to argue that Democrats and Republicans approach the issue of soaring medication prices in quite different ways.

    As he prepares to announce his intention to run for office again, the president aimed to draw a contrast. While Biden seeks to make his efforts to decrease medication costs fundamental to his policy and political agenda, his address on Wednesday in Las Vegas could offer an early preview of the forthcoming campaign.

    Speaking to a group of medical professionals at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Biden pledged to defend Medicare and Social Security while praising his administration’s efforts to pressure drug makers to reduce the price of insulin for Individuals with diabetes.

    In highlighting legislation passed last year that is anticipated to save taxpayers billions of dollars and cut the cost of pharmaceuticals for the nearly 84 million Americans who depend on Medicare, the White House believes it has a persuasive argument.

    Before the address, White House representatives said this topic is crucial to Americans’ daily lives and urged Republicans to join them in lowering prescription costs.

    “These kinds of savings will give people a little bit more breathing room, more comfort as they decide to go to the grocery store to buy their food, more ability to pay their rent, or maybe it’s just to do something decent for their families,” 

    Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra told reporters Tuesday as he anticipated the Democratic president’s remarks.

    The law, passed by a Democratic-controlled Congress last year, caps the price of insulin, makes the majority of vaccines free, and allows the federal government to negotiate discounts on a small number of pharmaceutical drugs for Medicare enrollees. Biden boasted about how his administration is implementing some of its provisions.

    These agreements are anticipated to result in large savings for the federal government. A law requiring drugmakers to send Medicare a check when they raise medicine costs over inflation is anticipated to generate revenue.

    Let’s complete the task, Biden remarked. “Let’s safeguard the lower prices for prescription drugs for everyone.”

    The law already regulates the cost of insulin at $35 for Medicare-dependent seniors and people with disabilities.

    As Biden has suggested, all Americans should be included in that cap, but that proposal faces opposition. Last year, attempts to pass legislation restricting the cost of insulin for Those without or with private insurance failed in the Democratic-controlled Congress.

    Yet, Biden continues to support the legislation from the previous year as a victory for the millions of Americans who Medicare doesn’t cover. After increasing the cost of life-saving medication over the past two decades, drug companies have begun to voluntarily reduce the price of insulin in response to public criticism. 

    Following rival Eli Lilly’s statement that it will begin selling its generic for $25, pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk announced Tuesday that it was lowering the price of insulin to roughly $72 per vial.

    To the millions of Americans who aren’t on Medicare, Biden has continued to support last year’s legislation as a triumph. After increasing the cost of life-saving medication over the previous two decades, drug companies came under criticism from the public and began to reduce the price of insulin voluntarily. 

    In response to rival Eli Lilly’s statement that it will start selling its generic for $25, drugmaker Novo Nordisk announced on Tuesday that it was reducing the price of insulin to roughly $72 per vial.

    When I signed a law capping the price of insulin for seniors at $35, we achieved significant progress, and this builds on that, said Biden in a statement following Novo Nordisk’s announcement on Tuesday. “I want Republicans in Congress to join us and cap insulin at $35 for all People,” said one producer.

    The mandate that pharmaceutical corporations pay a rebate to Medicare when they raise prescription prices faster than inflation is another provision of the bill that the administration expects to have an impact on Individuals.

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has already begun tracking prescription pricing even though it won’t submit a bill to pharmaceutical companies until 2025. 

    The organization on Wednesday named 27 medications whose costs had risen too quickly, limiting what Medicare enrollees will have to pay for them. The administration anticipates that this will encourage pharmaceutical companies to reduce the price of certain drugs.

    In recent weeks, Biden has worked to highlight the vast differences between his party’s approach to healthcare affordability and that of the Republicans. He has often expressed fear that the GOP will try to repeal the Medicare cost-savings measures or try to eliminate the program.

    The Medicare tax rate on people with yearly incomes of $400,000 or more will be increased from 3.8% to 5%, as announced by Biden last week, to address the financial issues that Medicare is facing.

    Republicans have yet to devise a strategy to deal with the looming shortages in Medicare, despite openly denying allegations that they would reduce the program. 

    The House Republican Study Committee suggested increasing Medicare eligibility from 65 to 67 last year.

    This Monday, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky warned reporters that Vice President Biden’s proposal to increase Medicare taxes “will not see the light of day.”