Big Pharma Gets Shut Down Over Medicare Price Haggling

Big Pharma just took a significant hit! An Ohio federal judge recently thwarted their attempts to stop Medicare from having some much-needed conversations about drug prices.

Medicare, under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), can now go head-to-head with pharmaceutical companies to negotiate drug prices. But, surprise, surprise, some industry bigwigs and groups (looking at you, U.S. Chamber of Commerce) tried to halt this power move, calling it “unconstitutional.” The Chamber even filed a lawsuit back in June hoping to stop this negotiation process before the October kick-off.

Peter Maybarduk, the head honcho at the Access to Medicines program, said, “This is Big Pharma’s first taste of defeat in trying to resist drug price negotiations under the IRA.” He went on to slam the Chamber’s lawsuit, saying it was baseless and would have unnecessarily hurt patients.

Now, here’s a twist: the judge who made this landmark ruling? None other than Judge Michael Newman, appointed by Trump. He shot down the Chamber’s plea, stating they neither showed a likelihood of success nor any irreparable damage. And just in case anyone was wondering about being forced into this, Newman highlighted that Big Pharma doesn’t have to play ball with Medicare. So no cries about “constitutional violations” here.

The Biden-Harris team is understandably on cloud nine. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre beamed, “This ruling confirms that Medicare will go on its mission to get lower prices for millions of seniors.” And she dropped a truth bomb: the Constitution doesn’t bar Medicare from price negotiations.

In case you’re curious, the drugs on the table for these negotiations include big names like Eliquis, Jardiance, and a slew of Novo Nordisk insulins. With the legal roadblock gone, it’s high time for Big Pharma to come to the table and negotiate with genuine intent. As Maybarduk wrapped up, “Big Pharma needs to ditch these lawsuits and start slashing those prices.”