Medicare recipients can expect lower drug prices next month

Starting next month, a $35 cap on insulin prices will go into effect for millions of Medicare recipients. The lower pricing is one of the first of several policy measures Americans will see in the coming months and years under the Inflation Reduction Act signed into law in August.

The bill also requires pharmaceutical companies to pay rebates for drugs where prices surpass inflation for Medicare Part D and mandates that the government negotiate drug prices on some prescription drugs for people who have Medicare — the first time Medicare has been given that power. While it’s unclear how many people will ultimately benefit from the various changes, 49 million people are enrolled in Medicare Part D plans, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. 

The Medicare Part D rebates began in October. That same month, Medicare also began paying more for some biosimilar drugs to create more competition, lower the cost and improve access to those drugs for consumers. Biosimilars are drugs that are very similar to an existing drug, and have an average sales price that isn’t higher than the other drug. 

The insulin cap that goes into effect next month benefits Medicare Part D recipients, who also no longer have to meet a deductible on their insulin. A  $35 cap on insulin pumps for Medicare Part B recipients goes into effect July 1, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

Richard Frank, senior fellow in economic studies and director of the University of Southern California-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative on Health Policy, said there are a couple reasons that the law reduces the cost for insulin before other measures.

Continue reading at The Current


get updates