| 3 March 2024, Sunday |

Biden administration to impose inflation penalties on dozens of drugmakers

The White House said on Thursday that the Biden administration would impose inflation penalties on hundreds of pharmaceutical companies, thereby lowering Medicare beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket expenses.

A section of President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) penalizes pharmaceutical companies for charging Medicare beneficiaries—a government program for the elderly and disabled—prices that increase more quickly than inflation.

Prices of 48 drugs that fall under Medicare Part B, which covers drugs administered at a health facility, surged faster than inflation in the last quarter of 2023, according to the White House.

These drugs may be subject to inflation rebates in the first quarter of 2024 as a result of the IRA, which Biden, a Democrat, signed last year.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for more details on the 48 drugs.

In total, prices of 64 drugs had increased faster than inflation over the last four quarters, the White House said in a statement.

Prices of some drugs such as Signifor, used to treat an endocrine disorder, have risen faster than inflation every quarter since the IRA’s rebate provision came into effect.

  • Reuters