US v Pharma Fighting to Protect Medicare Negotiation

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Patients won and now Big Pharma is pushing back.

Major pharmaceutical corporations and their allies have filed nine lawsuits to undermine a historic, system-changing provision within the Inflation Reduction Act: Medicare negotiation.

Medicare negotiation was a huge win for patients and taxpayers and granted Medicare the authority to negotiate prices for up to 60 of the highest-cost drugs that don’t have generic competition. As a result of negotiations, people on Medicare will have access to innovative, life-saving treatments at lower costs to Medicare.

Join us in fighting to protect Medicare negotiation. It’s US v. Pharma, and together, we can defend our hard-fought victory and lower drug prices for patients and families nationwide.

Fighting to Protect Medicare Negotiation

Patients For Affordable Drugs (P4AD) is the only national patient advocacy organization exclusively focused on lowering prescription drug prices. At the core of our mission was securing Medicare negotiation in the Inflation Reduction Act. Now, with this crucial provision under attack, our mission is clear: fight to protect Medicare negotiation.

However, Big Pharma is not going down easy. Several major drug companies have launched aggressive lawsuits seeking to dismantle the law and maintain their grip on drug pricing. These lawsuits threaten millions of patients whose drug costs are out of control and who would feel relief from Medicare negotiation.

Despite the pharmaceutical industry’s efforts and the millions of dollars they’ve invested in their cases, we’re gaining ground. In a significant blow, a district judge in New Jersey ruled against Bristol Myers Squibb and Janssen Pharmaceuticals in their cases on April 29, 2024 – less than two months after a federal judge in Delaware ruled against AstraZeneca in its case on March 1, 2024, adding to a series of victories for patients. Previously, a federal district judge in Texas dismissed a similar lawsuit from the industry lobby Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) in February, and a District Judge in Ohio ruled against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s case in September. On Wednesday, July 3rd, a federal judge in Connecticut ruled against Boehringer Ingelheim’s legal challenge to Medicare’s authority to negotiate lower drug prices. That’s five times that a judge has ruled against pharma and for patients!

As we continue to push forward, it’s clear that our efforts are making a difference. But the fight is far from over, and we need your help to ensure that patients take precedence over corporate profits.

Our Strategy

Our strategy is simple: vigorously defend Medicare negotiation against Big Pharma’s legal onslaught, prioritizing patients over profits.

To date, we’ve signed onto seven amicus briefs led by Public Citizen and with allies such as Protect Our Care, Doctors for America, and Families USA. By leveraging the expertise of our partners and amplifying patient stories, we’re challenging Big Pharma’s attempts to undermine Medicare negotiation through the U.S. legal system.

Despite the recent courtroom victories, the fight continues. With more legal showdowns looming and the likely escalation to the U.S. Supreme Court, we’re rallying more patients, advocates, and pressure to defend the law patients fought so hard to secure.

The Impact

In August 2023, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published the first 10 drugs covered under Medicare Part D selected for negotiation. All of the drug companies that make these medications agreed to participate in negotiations, while simultaneously filing lawsuits against the federal government to stop this program from going into effect.

People on Medicare paid $3.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs for these drugs in 2022. Meanwhile, Big Pharma’s pockets were padded as they spent more on stock buybacks and dividends than they did on research and development, even as nearly three in ten people in the United States struggle to afford their medications because of cost.

AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP et al. v. Becerra et al.

Status: Amicus Briefs due by August 1, 2024
Drug: Farxiga
Revenue from this drug: $4.3 billion
Medicare patients on this drug: 799,000
I am on Medicare and was prescribed Farxiga with a bill of over $600 for a 3-month supply.
— Karen - Pueblo West, CO
I have been on Farxiga, Trulicity, and Ozempic for my diabetes for over 5 years. All are very expensive and I have had to max out my credit cards for my health.
— Cathy - Clinton, IA

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services et al.

Status: Judge ruled against Boehringer Ingelheim on July 3, 2024
Drug: Jardiance
Revenue from this drug: $6.1 billion
Medicare patients on this drug: 1,573,000
My doctor put me on Jardiance which costs $680. At present, I am not on anything to control my blood sugar due to cost.
— Carolyn – Lynchburg, VA

Bristol Myers Squibb Co. v. Becerra et al.

Status: Judge ruled against on April 29, 2024 and Bristol Myers Squibb appealed ruling on April 29, 2024
Drug: Eliquis
Revenue from this drug: $11.8 billion
Medicare patients on this drug: 3,706,000
I am on Social Security and was just prescribed Eliquis. My Eliquis prescription costs me $385 a month. I also have to pay for 11 other prescriptions.
— Donald – Portsmouth, VA
I am required to take Eliquis for my AFIB. If not, I am told by my physician, that I could form a blood clot anywhere but my copay is $254 a month. Who can afford this?
— Patsy – Churchville, VA

Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce et. al. v. Becerra et al.

Status: Briefing is ongoing
Diabetic insulin prices are out of range. My wife can’t retire because I need her insurance to afford insulin. My medicare plan would only cover my meds for 3 months.
— Keith - Hamilton, OH (Jardiance)

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Becerra et al.

Status: Judge ruled against on April 29, 2024 and Janssen Pharmaceuticals appealed ruling on April 30, 2024
Drugs: Xarelto, Stelara, and Imbruvica
Revenue from these drugs: $19.06 billion
Medicare patients on this drug: 1,379,000

Merck et al. v. Becerra et al.

Status: Briefing is ongoing
Drug: Januvia
Revenue from this drug: $2.8 billion
Medicare patients on this drug: 869,000
I am a diabetic who has diabetic medicines that are very high. Trulicity, Jardiance, Januvia. As a retired person, I have to decide what I give up to pay these prices. There are times I don't take the drugs to save money.
— Brenda – Fisherville, VA

Novo Nordisk et al. v. Becerra et al.

Status: Waiting for decision
Drugs: Fiasp, Fiasp FlexTouch, Fiasp PenFill, NovoLog, NovoLog FlexPen, and NovoLog PenFill
Revenue from these drugs: $10.6 billion
Medicare patients on this drug: 777,000
I am on a fixed income and I have a lot of out-of-pocket costs. There have been times when I've had my children help me out. I didn't have enough money to pay for my insulin: Novolog, Lantus.
— Kathy - Kalamazoo, MI

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation v. Becerra et al.

Status: Waiting for decision
Drug: Entresto
Revenue from this drug: $4.6 billion
Medicare patients on this drug: 587,000
I am newly on heart medicine called Entresto, which is also a type III or IV tier drug. This costs $725 per month without insurance.
— Vincent – Chandler, AZ
I am also on Entresto for heart failure, and Jardiance for diabetes, which I won't be able to afford either when I reach the 'gap'.
— Loretta – Virginia Beach, VA

National Infusion Center Association, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America et al. v. Becerra et al.

Status: Briefing is ongoing; appeal filed in March 2024; oral argument scheduled for May 1, 2024.

Join the Fight Against Big Pharma

Add your name to join more than 150,000 people and more than 70 groups who are demanding that the CEOs of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc., Bristol Myers Squibb Co., Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., Merck, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Co., and Novo Nordisk withdraw their unconscionable lawsuits attempting to block drug price negotiation provisions under the Inflation Reduction Act.

As concerned patients, citizens, and advocates for affordable drugs, we are outraged by your current legal action to attempt to prevent Medicare from negotiating prices for some of its costliest drugs.

Medicare’s ability to negotiate drug prices is a critical step toward making medications more affordable for millions of Americans, especially seniors and those with limited financial resources. Your actions undermine the fundamental principle that everyone deserves the medication they need at prices they can afford.

Your lawsuits directly oppose the interests of patients and taxpayers who overwhelmingly support Medicare’s ability to negotiate lower drug prices.

We call on you to immediately withdraw your lawsuits against Medicare negotiation.