Changes made to lower the cost of prescription drugs

Changes made to lower the cost of prescription drugs
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 5:46 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - It’s a big step towards lowering prescription drug prices for senior citizens. President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law Tuesday afternoon.

The new law makes two big changes. First, it allows Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies. Second, it’s going to bring down the cost of Insulin for diabetics on Medicare.

“It feels great. It’s comforting. It’s one less thing I can take off the concerned checklist. It should never be there in the first place,” said Fonda Brewer, Trustee at Delta Township.

Fonda Brewer was recently diagnosed with diabetes. She’s not on Insulin yet but, if that changes, she’s grateful the new law caps the price at $35 per month.

“Not having to figure out am I going to pay this bill or get the medication that’s so desperately needed,” said Brewer.

More than two million Michiganders are on Medicare and one-third of them has diabetes. And with a month’s supply of Insulin running as much as $1,000 right now – the new law is going to come as a huge relief.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow hopes this will be an example for the health care industry.

Related: Major reforms to lower prescription drug costs announced by Stabenow, Slotkin

“So, step one is Medicare for seniors and people with disabilities and at whatever opportunity we can we will make sure that it goes farther,” Stabenow said. “And if insurance companies want to do the right thing, the drug companies want to do the right thing, they will do what Medicare is doing.”

The law also limits out-of-pocket spending on prescriptions for Medicare patients to $2,000 per year starting in 2025. Future drug price increases will be limited to the rate of inflation.

The law allows Medicare to start negotiating drug prices in 2026 but only for the 10 specific drugs on which it spends the most money. That list will grow to 20 medications a year by 2029.

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