Medicare Enrollees May See Savings on Prescription Drugs- newsletr 1-8-24

A federal law that penalizes pharmaceutical companies if they raise prices faster than the rate of inflation may soon deliver savings on dozens of medications, according to an article by Ken Alltucker, writing for USA Today. The Alltucker article says officials with Medicare have issued a list of nearly 50 drugs including blood thinners, antibiotics and cancer medications administered at a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital, and says the potential savings on these medications could range from $1 to $2,786 per dose, beginning Jan. 1, depending on an individual’s drug coverage. A list of the affected drugs can be viewed here. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posts information each quarter that includes drugs subject to coinsurance adjustments. These Medicare Part B Quarterly Sales Pricing (ASP) files are publicly available on CMS.gov. The impacted drugs and coinsurance adjustments may change quarterly. What this means is that people with Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans who use these drugs may, depending on other health coverage they have, pay a reduced amount for their coinsurance during this specific quarter. The penalties for drug companies raising prices too fast are part of the Biden Administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, which seeks to limit drug costs several ways. The Act for the first time empowers CMS to negotiate lower Medicare drug prices, and the Biden administration has named the first 10 diabetes, heart disease and cancer drugs that Medicare will negotiate. But the price changes on those drugs won’t take effect until 2026. Over the next two years, another 30 drugs will be selected for negotiated prices that take effect in 2027 and 2028. See more on this in our AgeWise Colorado article at https://agewisecolorado.org/blog/many-coloradans-to-benefit-from-negotiated-drug-prices/.

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