The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) periodically provides news of interest to the Senior community. I have been a member of NAELA for many years and am past-President of its Texas Chapter. A new 2023 law, the federal Inflation Reduction Act, has for the first time given legal authority for Medicare to participate in the free market by negotiating directly with drug manufacturers. The goal is to dramatically lower your out-of-pocket spending for drugs covered by Medicare Part B and Part D.
As part of that process, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a series of patient-focused listening sessions as part of the Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program.
The listening sessions will be held from October 30, 2023, to November 15, 2023. They are designed to gather input from patients, beneficiaries, caregivers, consumer and patient organizations, and other interested parties on the ten drugs selected for the first round of negotiations, which are: 1) Eliquis, 2) Jardiance, 3) Xarelto, 4) Januvia, 5) Farxiga, 6) Entresto, 7) Enbrel, 8) Imbruvica, 9) Stelara, and 10) Fiasp and certain other insulins made by Novo Nordisk, including NovoLog.
These ten medications treat various conditions including heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases. Medicare enrollees paid a total of $3.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs last year for these ten drugs alone. The negotiations with participating drug companies for the selected drugs will occur in 2023 and 2024 with the negotiated prices effective beginning in 2026. Negotiations on the prices of other drugs will be ongoing, likely starting after August 2024.
These listening sessions will be live-streamed. Registration is not necessary to view/attend the Listening Session livestream. The first session is on October 30. You can see the full schedule and stream the sessions from this website: https://www.cms.gov/inflation-reduction-act-and-medicare/medicare-drug-price-negotiation-program-patient-focused-listening-sessions
Paul Premack is a Certified Elder Law Attorney for Wills and Trusts, Probate, and Elder Law issues. He is licensed to practice law in Texas and Washington. To contact us, click here.
Published on 10/6/2023