Nation’s Leading Organizations of Medical and Public Health Professionals Celebrate Win for Inflation Reduction Act’s Medicare Drug Price Negotiations

Wilmington, DE – In a big win for patients and public health, a district court judge in Delaware today issued a ruling upholding the Inflation Reduction Act’s medicare drug price negotiation program. The case is AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP v. Becerra et al. and comes after the nation’s leading medical and public health organizations submitted a brief in the case, arguing that the Inflation Reduction Act’s Medicare drug price negotiation program will help improve patient outcomes and public health.

“Doctors and medical experts have made clear that excessive drug prices are a clear threat to public health and this decision rightly rejects an attempt to halt an important policy for the public health,” said Ananda Burra, Senior Counsel with Democracy Forward, which represented a coalition of medical and public health professionals in submitting an amicus brief in the case. “While we expect this decision to be quickly appealed, we will continue representing the nation’s medical community to ensure courts know the serious public health implications of over-priced medications and that leading health professionals support the Inflation Reduction Act’s Medicare drug pricing negotiation program.”

In 2003, Congress created Medicare Part D, which helps cover the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare recipients. Until the new law, unlike other government programs and agencies like the Veterans Administration or TRICARE, Medicare was not allowed to negotiate the prices on the prescription drugs it was purchasing. With Medicare Part D unable to negotiate on these prices for essential medicines that people rely on to stay alive, the cost of the program has ballooned into one of the federal government’s biggest expenditures. 

More than one-third of Americans say cost has prevented them from filling a prescription. People of color, people with disabilities, people with lower incomes, and women disproportionately bear the brunt of high drug prices. And Americans pay 2-2.5 times what other similar countries pay for prescription drugs. Certain drug companies, in filing these lawsuits, have argued that they should be allowed to dictate the prices the government should pay for vital life-saving medications. The court’s decision in AstraZeneca is a promising first step for the promise of equitable health care.  

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