A federal judge in Ohio on Friday blocked an attempt by corporate interests to stop Medicare’s historic negotiation of certain drug prices with pharmaceuticals.
Medicare gained the power to negotiate drug prices as part of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), but the several industry groups and drug makers have sued to forestall the program, arguing that it is unconstitutional, CNN explained. One of those groups was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which filed its lawsuit in June. The Ohio judge Friday rejected its request for a preliminary injunction to block the program before October 1, the date by which pharmaceuticals must agree to negotiate or not.
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Friday won praise from congressional Democrats and progressive groups for announcing “a sweeping, historic effort to restore fairness in tax compliance by shifting more attention onto high-income earners, partnerships, large corporations, and promoters abusing the nation’s tax laws.”
The IRS effort is enabled by some of the $80 billion in funding for the agency included in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which President Joe Biden signed into law last year. About a quarter of that money is set to be clawed back as part of his recent deal with congressional Republicans to temporarily suspend the nation’s debt limit.
“HHS can clearly insist on limiting the U.S. price of Xtandi to the median price for other large high-income countries,” said advocates, “particularly since the drug has already generated more than $10 billion in sales from Medicare alone based upon these unconscionable pricing disparities.”
“Cancer does not wait, nor should cancer patients have to wait for years for their government to act.”
That’s the message patient advocates reiterated in a Friday letter asking the Biden administration to help them secure a lifesaving prostate cancer drug that costs nearly $190,000 per year despite its development being 100% taxpayer-funded.
Last year, prostate cancer patient Eric Sawyer petitioned U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to grant march-in rights—under which the government can grant patent licenses to companies other than a drug’s manufacturer—for enzalutamide, which is sold under the brand name Xtandi. Continue reading →