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Biden touts drugs chosen for Medicare price negotiation: 'We’re not gonna back down'

President Biden on Tuesday vowed to not back down from pharmaceutical companies in touting the first 10 drugs chosen for Medicare price negotiation under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

“Big Pharma charging Americans more than three times what they charge other countries simply because they could and I think it’s outrageous. That’s why these negotiations matter,” Biden said at an event at the White House.

“We’re going to keep standing up to Big Pharma, and we’re not gonna back down.”

The drugs, announced Tuesday by the White House, were chosen based on their eligibility under the Inflation Reduction Act, and they account for an estimated $50.5 billion in total gross Medicare Part D costs.

“Finally, finally, finally we had enough votes — by a matter of one — to beat Big Pharma,” Biden said. “We passed the Inflation Reduction Act with no help from the other team.”

“There’s a lot of really great Republicans out there … but we’ll stand up to the MAGA Republicans who voted against the Inflation Reduction Act and now are attempting to still repeal it. The MAGA Republicans who have been trying for years to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, deny tens of millions of Americans access to quality, affordable health care,” he added.

Biden called the Inflation Reduction Act, which he signed into law just over a year ago, “one of the most significant laws ever enacted, especially when it comes to reducing the cost of prescription drugs.”

“We all hear from our friends on the other side of the aisle about what they claim is wrong with America. They tell you we’re failing, that America is failing. Well they’re wrong; America isn’t failing, America is winning,” Biden said.

Negotiations over these drugs will take place in 2023 and 2024, and drugmakers have until Oct. 1 to sign agreements, according to the law. However, industry groups are seeking an injunction to halt the process amid various legal efforts to block the law entirely. Even if it goes forward as planned, actual savings would not kick in until 2026.

“Negotiating drug prices … isn’t just going to put more money in the pockets of millions of Americans across the country, it’s also going to lower the federal deficit,” Biden said. 

Earlier on Tuesday, the White House issued a memo bashing House Republicans for pursuing “handouts” for pharmaceutical companies and trying to repeal the drug negotiation plan.

Source: The Hill

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