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HHS Announces Cost Savings for 64 Prescription Drugs

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced that some Medicare enrollees will pay less for 64 drugs available through Medicare Part B. The drugs will have a lowered Part B coinsurance rate from July 1, 2024 – September 30, 2024, since each drug company raised prices faster than the rate of inflation.  Over 750,000 people with Medicare use these drugs annually, which treat conditions such as osteoporosis, cancer, and infections. White House Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden will announce the cost savings on these life-saving drugs in a keynote address on the Biden-Harris Administration’s focus on lowering costs today at the Center for American Progress.

“Without the Inflation Reduction Act, seniors were completely exposed to Big Pharma’s price hikes. Not anymore. Thanks to President Biden and the new Medicare inflation rebate program, seniors are protected and benefitting from lower Part B drug costs,” said White House Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden. “The Biden-Harris Administration will continue fighting to bring down the cost of health care and prescription drugs for all Americans.”

“President Biden’s Medicare prescription drug rebate program is putting money back in the pockets of seniors and people with disabilities, said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “President Biden made lowering prescription drug costs for Americans a top priority, and he is delivering on that promise. Our work is not complete, and we will continue to fight for lower health care costs for all Americans.”

Please find soundbites from HHS’ Chief Competition Officer, Stacy Sanders, here .

Because of President Biden’s lower cost prescription drug law, the Inflation Reduction Act, which established the Medicare Prescription Drug Inflation Rebate Program, some people with Medicare who use these drugs during this time period may save between $1 and $4,593 per day.

“Everyone should be able to afford their medication, and the Inflation Reduction Act continues to deliver on this goal to improve affordability,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “Discouraging drug companies from price increases above the rate of inflation is a key part of this effort, and CMS continues to implement the law to bring savings to people with Medicare.”

Padcev, a medication used to treat advanced bladder cancer, is an example of a prescription drug with a price that has increased faster than the rate of inflation every quarter since the Medicare Part B inflation rebate program went into effect, resulting in lowered Part B coinsurances for seniors and others with Medicare. A beneficiary taking Padcev as part of their cancer treatment may have saved as much as $1,181 from April 1, 2023 through March 31, 2024, depending on their coverage and course of treatment. Another example, Crysvita, treats a rare genetic disorder that causes impaired growth, muscle weakness, and bone pain. A beneficiary taking Crysvita may have saved as much as $765 from July 1, 2023 through March 31, 2024 depending on their coverage and course of treatment.

The Medicare Prescription Drug Inflation Rebate Program is just one of the Inflation Reduction Act’s prescription drug provisions aimed at lowering drug costs. In addition to this program, the law expanded eligibility for full benefits under the Low-Income Subsidy program (LIS or “Extra Help”) under Medicare Part D at the beginning of this year. Nearly 300,000 people with low and modest incomes are now benefiting from the program’s expansion. A comprehensive public education campaign is underway to reach the more than three million people who are likely eligible for the program but not yet enrolled.

In addition, as of January 1, 2024, some people enrolled in Medicare Part D who have high drug costs have their annual out-of-pocket costs capped at about $3,500. In 2025, all people with Medicare Part D will benefit from a $2,000 cap on annual out-of-pocket prescription drug costs.

The Inflation Reduction Act requires drug companies to pay rebates to Medicare when prices increase faster than the rate of inflation for certain drugs. CMS intends to begin invoicing prescription drug companies for rebates owed to Medicare no later than fall 2025. The rebate amounts paid by drug companies will be deposited in the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund, which will help ensure the long-term sustainability of the Medicare program for future generations.

For more information on the Medicare Prescription Drug Inflation Rebate Program visit, https://www.cms.gov/inflation-reduction-act-and-medicare/inflation-rebates-medicare

To view the fact sheet on the 64 Part B drugs with a coinsurance reduction for the quarter July 1, 2024 – September 30, 2024, visit, https://www.cms.gov/files/document/reduced-coinsurance-certain-part-b-rebatable-drugs-july-1-september-30-2024.pdf – PDF

More information and helpful resources about the Inflation Reduction Act and how it is helping to lower costs for people with Medicare can be found at LowerDrugCosts.gov.