Big Pharma is “coming to the table” on price negotiations as it loses in court

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Federal health officials this week trumpeted progress in negotiating lower Medicare drug prices as big pharmaceutical companies faced another legal loss in their efforts to have the negotiations ruled unconstitutional.

This week, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that it had received the first counteroffers from pharmaceutical makers for all 10 drugs up for price negotiation. The negotiations—a provision in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022—kicked off late last year with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announcing the 10 drugs selected for bargaining. Those 10 drugs have seen significant price hikes over recent years and, combined, cost Medicare $50.5 billion in gross during 2022, with an additional $3.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs for patients. The health department sent its opening pricing offers to drug makers on February 1.

“We are committed to constructive dialogue and are glad the drug companies are coming to the table,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “These are good-faith, up front negotiations,” he said, which will “keep money in the pockets of millions of Americans instead of Big Pharma.”

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