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Biden Saving Medicare Recipients Hundreds of Dollars on Insulin; IRA Targets Ten Drugs for Further Savings

What’s more important to Americans on Medicare: an abstract commitment to capitalism or real savings on prescription drugs?

Based on 2020 data, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services figures South Dakotans on Medicare who use insulin can save an average of $725 a year thanks to the $35 cap on out-of-pocket costs enacted in President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act last year. (Only North Dakotans see higher savings from that price cap, an average of $805; the national average savings are $501.)

The Biden Administration now wants to bring similar savings to Medicare recipients on ten other prescription drugs slated for the first round of price negotiation authorized under the Inflation Reduction Act:

For the first time ever, HHS announced ten drugs selected for Medicare drug price negotiation:

Drug Name Commonly Treated Conditions Total Part D Gross Covered Prescription Drug Costs from June 2022-May 2023 Number of Medicare Part D Enrollees Who Used the Drug from June 2022-May 2023 Average Part D Covered Prescription Drug Costs Per Enrollee
Eliquis Prevention and treatment of blood clots $16,482,621,000 3,706,000 $4,448
Jardiance Diabetes; Heart failure $7,057,707,000 1,573,000 $4,487
Xarelto Prevention and treatment of blood clots; Reduction of risk for patients with coronary or peripheral artery disease $6,031,393,000 1,337,000 $4,511
Januvia Diabetes $4,087,081,000 869,000 $4,703
Farxiga Diabetes; Heart failure; Chronic kidney disease $3,268,329,000 799,000 $4,091
Entresto Heart failure $2,884,877,000 587,000 $4,915
Enbrel Rheumatoid arthritis; Psoriasis; Psoriatic arthritis $2,791,105,000 48,000 $58,148
Imbruvica Blood cancers $2,663,560,000 20,000 $133,178
Stelara Psoriasis; Psoriatic arthritis; Crohn’s disease; Ulcerative colitis $2,638,929,000 $12,000 $119,951
Fiasp; Fiasp FlexTouch; Fiasp PenFill;
NovoLog; NovoLog FlexPen; NovoLog PenFill
Diabetes $2,576,586,000 777,000 $3,316

[Source: CMS, https://www.cms.gov/files/document/fact-sheet-medicare-selected-drug-negotiation-list-ipay-2026.pdf]

These ten drugs are among those with highest total spending in Medicare Part D. Millions of Part D enrollees depend on these vital treatments to treat life-threatening conditions including diabetes, heart failure, and cancer, but many struggle to access their medications because of prohibitive costs.

Medicare drug price negotiation will result in lower out-of-pocket costs for seniors and will save money for American taxpayers. Negotiations for the first group of selected drugs will begin in 2023, with negotiated prices going into effect in 2026 [The White House, “Fact Sheet: Biden-Harris Administration Announces First Ten Drugs Selected for Medicare Price Negotiation,” 2023.08.29].

South Dakota has a few thousand Medicare enrollees using these drugs, with average annual out-of-pocket costs ranging from $195 for NovoLog and the other diabetes prescriptions to $6,312 for blood-cancer drug Imbruvica. As with insulin, South Dakota Medicare enrollees pay some of the highest out-of-pocket costs in the nation for these drugs.

So tell me what harms arise from helping sick senior citizens pay for their medicine by the federal government’s dickering for lower prices? Will drug companies lose investors and have less money and desire to research new drugs? Does the prospect of incalculable deceleration of pharma-scientific progress outweigh the measurable practical benefit of savings for Medicare recipients?

24 Comments

  1. All Mammal 2023-08-31

    Our president is doing his darnedest. Not another president in my lifetime has actually done so many tangible, positive things for the average Joe. He goes to work and gets er done. How can so many broke South Dakotans hate on a nice old man who tries to help them even though all he gets is grief? It doesn’t make any sense.

    President Biden haters- stop believing all the lies on your phone fed to you by PUTIN. Hating Joe Biden is what our enemy wants so we destroy ourselves from within. Don’t be a Putin punk. Be an American and appreciate the facts.

  2. P. Aitch 2023-08-31

    Hear, hear All Mammal.

  3. Jake Kammerer 2023-08-31

    just for starters, only, kook at how they describe President Joe Biden as being a stuttering, ragged gaited older person who has difficulty walking and look at their 2nd important leader- starry-eyes Mitch! hmmm, !!!

  4. LCJ 2023-08-31

    At least Mitch didn’t order the deaths of 13 members of the Military in Kabul
    You could have paid for everybody’s insulin with the billions of dollars worth of equipment Joe gave to the bad guys. Joe sent the women of Afghanistan back to the Stone Age.
    Can’t wait to see what other great things this 50 year career politician does next!
    Maybe he’ll drive up food, gas and electricity prices again. What a horrible, horrible man you idiots voted for! Now, even the democrats are looking for a replacement on the ticket.
    Who do you think your fooling?

  5. larry kurtz 2023-08-31

    The United States is the arms dealer to the world and averse to gun control at home as it assassinates children, women and men throughout the Muslim world. Hundreds of thousands have been slaughtered in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and beyond.

    South Dakota’s Ellsworth Air Force Base has butchered countless civilians during the actions to protect the heroin trade keeping the Russian mob and the American Central Intelligence Agency in cash. The Republican-led wars there and in Iraq have cost American taxpayers some $6 TRILLION.

    This country’s founders never expected the US Constitution as written to last more than ten years and most predicted it would be rewritten every generation. Thomas Jefferson wrote that a standing army would lead to military adventurism, would ultimately turn on its own citizens and that has happened.

    False flags, disaster capitalism, endless war: anyone who believes America is safer because of a military filled with mercenaries is delusional. Now, we’ve become the Hamiltonian Empire Thomas Jefferson warned us about. Jefferson would be horrified to learn that the US is operating with a 230 year old manual and would say we are long overdue for a Constitutional Convention.

  6. grudznick 2023-08-31

    Mr. Kammerer, I suspect the leader might be Mr. Thune.

  7. larry kurtz 2023-08-31

    Democratic Montana Senator Jon Tester has been a veterans advocate since before he even went to Congress but through sequestration the Republican Party managed to cripple both the Veterans Health Administration and the Indian Health Service so GOP donors could push for privatization.

    Recall former Montana Sen. Max Baucus threw President Barack Obama’s pick for Health and Human Services Secretary, former Senate Majority Leader and fellow Democrat Tom Daschle, under the bus during a pre-confirmation quarrel in 2009. Daschle was widely expected to push Congress toward a Medicaid-for-all health care plan in the weeks before Big Pharma-backed Baucus soundly rejected single-payer medical insurance and guided the passing of what would become the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

    During a 2017 bipartisan hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Sen. Tester said Congress should take a “solid look” at a single-payer health care system. Tester, who has been listening to various options including some intense lobbying from this interested party , asked the panel of experts how to finance the health care system while controlling the costs.

    https://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/local/2023/03/05/tester-discusses-broken-military-healthcare-system-at-local-roundtable/69971682007/

  8. Dicta 2023-08-31

    To be fair, I’ve had first hand experience with the trainwreck that is the VA healthcare system. Those problems have existed as long as I’ve received care there for the better part of a decade. The Republicans have actively try to hurt it, but even when they weren’t in control, my care has been subpar at best. This is NOT to say this is a necessary result of a a single payer system, but I do admit some nervousness for people. It hasn’t been fun for me and the VA has actually made me more sick at times. That being said, I am glad there is some sort of controls being implemented for at least some pharmaceuticals. Lack of money shouldn’t be a death sentence.

  9. larry kurtz 2023-08-31

    And I resent being called an idiot by people who are too cowardly to use their real names.

  10. Dicta 2023-08-31

    LCJ: I served in Afghanistan a couple times if you’d like to stop talking out of your 4th point of contact and discuss the facts about what actually occurred there. Lemme know.

  11. jerry 2023-08-31

    LCJ, I wonder if you had the same concern over the 2400 American soldiers who died and were killed in Afghanistan, did you? How about all of the wounded? How about the 18 CIA killed in action there? Joe Biden did the right thing by getting the hell out of Afghanistan. Yes, the loss of those 13 was the price that was paid to do that, but how many more would we have lost if he hadn’t? Initials like you, regarding troops and our losses, offend me. You clearly have never worn a uniform nor have you ever put your balls on the line for this country. 4 US Marines were killed in action evacuating Vietnam, the last ones, was their loss the fault of the president?

  12. e platypus onion 2023-08-31

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/US-Withdrawal-from-Afghanistan.pdf

    According to this document, Biden had no choice but to withdraw remaining troops or risk even more casyaltied due to agreement drumpf made eith Taliban with no consultation with Afg and NATO allies. drumpf agreed to release 5k Taliban prisoners w/o negotiating the release of the only American held hostage by the Taliban.

    But, of course, we all know it was Biden’s fault.

  13. e platypus onion 2023-08-31

    What senile McCTurtlefartface has dine is pack the federl appeals courts and the Scotus with unqualified judges, especially the 5th circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans and drumpf/McCTurtlefartface justices just essentially gave themselves control of nuclear waste storage.

    https://www.vox.com/2023/8/29/23849054/supreme-court-nuclear-safety-fifth-circuit-james-ho-radioactive-texas-commission

    James Ho is the leading auditioning buffoon for the next vacancy on the Scotus with his whacked out opinions.

  14. LCJ 2023-08-31

    Larry, you are an idiot, as is anyone else who thinks this man is good for the country.

  15. Dicta 2023-08-31

    I’ll take that as a now, you’re unwilping to discuss your claims. Cool story.

  16. Dicta 2023-08-31

    *no
    *unwilling

    My bad on the typos.

  17. larry kurtz 2023-08-31

    Hey, Cory: is this what you intend for this forum?

  18. DaveFN 2023-08-31

    larry kurtz

    Who said it’s a forum by or with any motivated intent (other than your own notions?)

    It’s a blog by Cory with various and sundry comments appended, some relevant and some not. Nothing intentional by Cory about the form the comments would or should take as far as I can see.I

    You are whining.

  19. All Mammal 2023-08-31

    DaveFN- be nice.

    I hear what you’re all sayin. It’s legitimate. I cannot understand, though, how anyone can be pissy about more affordable medication. Isn’t that a step towards a more democratic reality? I like equality and healthy bros.

    I know I should find a hole somewheres and wait out this Super Blue Moon. It really effects the front tails flips the spooky switch in your eyes after dark. Don’t run with the dogs too late.

  20. leslie 2023-09-01

    lcj: who, who, who?

    “weary chroniclers of right-wing legal rhetoric may recall that Senator Mitch McConnell used the photographic negative of such claims—the no-less-spurious contention that a pending election would contaminate the solemn congressional deliberations about the country’s legal future—to deep-six Barack Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the US Supreme Court. (It is, admittedly, difficult to keep this precedent firmly in mind, since McConnell and the Republicans promptly trashed this line of reasoning to streamline Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination just weeks ahead of the 2020 presidential balloting.)” The Nation

    Dicta: glad you are on our side!

  21. leslie 2023-09-01

    Read the whole article!

    “… the delusional accounts of law and justice routinely aired on Trump’s behalf bespeak something even more troubling: the impatience of an autocratic movement that has figured out how to seize power without the constraints of either law or democratic process and is simply waiting for the rest of the country’s decaying civic infrastructure to give way for the final putsch.” — Chris Lehman

    https://www.thenation.com/article/politics/gop-election-interference/

  22. All Mammal 2023-09-01

    It would be hilarious if Senator Thune ran for POTUS just to beat KN to it and steal her thunder claps.

  23. Arlo Blundt 2023-09-01

    Very thankful for President Biden’s leadership in reducing drug costs for people with serious, life threatening illness. There are plans to add more drugs to the list.

Comments are closed.