On August 29th, the Biden Administration named the 10 drugs that will be subject to price negotiation with Medicare in the initial implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022. Release of the list marked a milestone in a decades-long effort by Democrats to use the purchasing power of the Medicare program to force manufacturers to lower drug prices.

This first round of direct drug price negotiations takes aim at some of the most widely used drugs in America and the manufacturers behind them – Bristol Myers Squibb’s blood thinner Eliquis, Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly’s diabetes drug Jardiance, Johnson & Johnson’s blood thinner Xarelto, Merck’s diabetes drug Januvia, AstraZeneca’s diabetes drug Farxiga, Novartis’ heart failure treatment Entresto, Amgen’s rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel, Johnson & Johnson and AbbVie’s blood cancer treatment Imbruvica, J&J’s anti-inflammatory medicine Stelara, and two insulins from Novo Nordisk, Fiasp and NovoLog. The pharmaceutical manufacturers involved stand to lose billions, as they are forced to choose between providing their medicines at a discount of 25 – 60%, withdrawing their products from the Medicare and Medicaid programs, or paying an excise tax on all US sales that scales rapidly to 95%.

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