Press Release

Welch Applauds Historic Announcement of First 10 Prescription Drugs Picked for Medicare Price Negotiations, a Longstanding Issue Championed by the Senator

Aug 29, 2023

BURLINGTON, VTSenator Peter Welch (D-VT) today released the following statement in response to the Biden Administration’s announcement of the first 10 prescription drugs that will be subject to price negotiation thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and provisions Senator Welch championed in the House.  

“This announcement is a major milestone in our fight to hold Big Pharma accountable for skyrocketing drug costs, and it’s just the beginning. From my earliest days in Congress, I’ve worked to cut costs at the pharmacy, and I’m thrilled to see the Inflation Reduction Act in action,” said Sen. Welch. “In 2022, folks on Medicare spent over $3 billion out of pocket on these drugs, which treat and prevent medical conditions that impact so many Americans. I will keep fighting to lower the cost of prescription drugs for Vermont seniors and families.” 

Even before realizing savings from drug price negotiations, the IRA has already delivered savings to seniors through its $35 cap on insulin and vaccine coverage for seniors. In addition, the IRA will generate an average savings for Medicare beneficiaries in Vermont of $492 per year on prescription drug costs, once the $2,000 annual out-of-pocket cap goes into effect in 2025. Medicare will continue to negotiate prices for up to 60 drugs covered under Part D and Part B, and up to 20 additional prescription drugs every year after that. 

Senator Welch has been a longtime champion of legislation to lower the cost of prescription drugs for Vermonters and all Americans. In addition to cosponsoring the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which was the driving force of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), this Congress the Senator also co-led the introduction of the Strengthening Medicare and Reducing Taxpayer (SMART) Prices Act with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, which will build on the success of the provisions within the IRA and empower the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate for even more drugs in Medicare Part D and as soon as five years after approval by the FDA.  

Two of the drugs included in today’s announcement were part of the investigation by the House Oversight Committee into pharmaceutical pricing and abusive business practices.  The Committee found that if Medicare Part D plans had secured the same discounts as other federal health care programs empowered to negotiate between 2014 and 2018, Medicare would have saved $2.3 billion on Enbrel and $1.6 billion on Imbruvica.  

The 10 prescription drugs selected today include:  

Drug Name Commonly Treated Conditions 
Eliquis Prevention and treatment of blood clots 
Jardiance Diabetes; Heart failure 
Xarelto Prevention and treatment of blood clots; Reduction of risk for patients with coronary or peripheral artery disease 
Januvia Diabetes 
Farxiga Diabetes; Heart failure; Chronic kidney disease 
Entresto Heart failure 
Enbrel Rheumatoid arthritis; Psoriasis; Psoriatic arthritis 
Imbruvica Blood cancers 
Stelara Psoriasis; Psoriatic arthritis; Crohn’s disease; Ulcerative colitis 
Fiasp; Fiasp FlexTouch; Fiasp PenFill; 
NovoLog; NovoLog FlexPen; NovoLog PenFill 

Source: The White House