Tester Leads Effort Urging Biden Administration Action to Hold Big Pharma Accountable, Lower Prescription Drug Costs

Senators push Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to ensure implementation of Inflation Reduction Act provisions that will reduce cost of Part B medications

Continuing his efforts to lower the cost of prescription drugs for America’s seniors and hold Big Pharma accountable, U.S. Senator Jon Tester today sent a letter to Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure pressing the agency to execute oversight to ensure the swift implementation of Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provisions that will lower the cost of Medicare Part B prescription drugs.

“For too long Big Pharma has called the shots, giving marching orders to members of Congress while jacking up prescription drug costs on Montana’s seniors and families,” said Tester. “That’s why I helped pass the Inflation Reduction Act to take on big corporations and lower the cost of prescription drugs for Montanans. Now I will hold anyone accountable to ensure these cost-cutting provisions are implemented so that Montana seniors and families pay a fair price for the medicine they need.” 

In their letter, Tester and his colleagues applauded CMS for already implementing IRA provisions that have lowered the cost of prescription drugs for America’s seniors, including a $35 a month cap on the cost of insulin. 

“The Inflation Reduction Act includes landmark provisions that will lower the cost of prescription drugs for more than 60 million Americans with Medicare coverage. Several provisions have already taken effect – including a $35 cap on the monthly out-of-pocket cost for insulin, $0 copay for adult vaccines, and penalties on pharmaceutical manufacturers when they increase their prescription drug prices faster than the rate of inflation,” the Senators wrote. “We applaud the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for implementing these important provisions, including by releasing early guidance for the Medicare Part B and Part D inflation rebates.”

The Senators then pressed CMS to take further action to ensure the implementation of IRA provisions that will reduce the cost of Medicare Part B drugs and hold big pharmaceutical companies accountable by penalizing inflated drug prices beyond the rate of inflation.  

We strongly urge CMS to provide the following information quickly to help seniors in traditional Medicare and their families plan for lower cost-sharing on their Part B medications: (1) a list of the common names of Medicare Part B medications that will be subject to a coinsurance reduction on April 1, 2023; and (2) the percentage and amount of the coinsurance reduction for each Part B drug,” the Senators wrote. “High Part B drug prices set by manufacturers place a heavy burden on Medicare beneficiaries, since patients pay 20 percent of the cost of these drugs… The IRA penalizes inflated drug prices and lowers Part B cost sharing to combat this financial burden.”

Tester has led the charge to lower health care costs and hold massive pharmaceutical companies accountable. His Inflation Reduction Act requires Medicare to negotiate drug prices, caps out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for Medicare patients at $2,000 per year, caps the cost of insulin for Medicare patients at $35 per month, and extends Affordable Care Act provisions to prevent price hikes for thousands of Montanans. The legislation was signed into law in August 2022 and is fully paid for and reduces the national debt by holding corporations and millionaires accountable.

The Senators’ full letter can be found below or HERE.


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