Protecting the PillarsRelease

Medicaid and Medicare Turn 58 as Big Pharma Fights Against Critical Reforms to Lower Prescription Drug Costs

By July 28, 2023March 31st, 2024No Comments

WASHINGTON — Ahead of the 58th anniversary of the Medicare and Medicaid programs on July 30, Health Care for America Now (HCAN) Executive Director Margarida Jorge released the following statement on the continued benefits of these critical programs and the upcoming first round of prescription drug price negotiations:

“This year we celebrate 58 years of Medicare and Medicaid programs in the United States and look forward to the implementation of Medicare prescription drug price negotiations under the Inflation Reduction Act. Medicare negotiations on some of the most expensive brand-name drugs will finally make these medicines more affordable for seniors and people with disabilities. In total, the prescription drug reforms in the IRA will save taxpayers over $98 billion over the next ten years by curtailing drug corporations’ ability to price-gouge relentlessly.

“Even as we celebrate, however, we know that implementation of these laws won’t be easy. Major drug companies including Merck and Johnson & Johnson are mounting legal attacks on Medicare negotiations, trying to overthrow the law in an attempt to protect their huge profits even at the continued expense of patients.

“Medicare and Medicaid have been under attack since their passage in 1965, but, along with Social Security, they are the most popular government programs in the United States. Nearly 160 million people today are able to access vital medical care because of these programs and the Inflation Reduction Act’s provisions took an essential and long-overdue next step to make medications more affordable for those who need them most.

“Drug corporations have price-gouged patients for decades to make record profits, denying patients affordable prices on everything from insulin to cancer medications to become the most profitable industry in the nation. Now is the time for Big Pharma corporations to negotiate in good faith to ensure people can afford their life-saving medications. It’s high time that they follow the law, not try to overturn it.”