March 15,2023

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Taylor Harvey

Wyden Cheers Lower Drug Costs for Seniors Due to Inflation Rebate

Implementation of Medicare Part B Inflation Rebate Results in Lower Coinsurance for Beneficiaries

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today cheered a Biden administration announcement showing that seniors will pay less for 27 drugs in Medicare Part B due to the Inflation Reduction Act’s inflation rebate policy, which penalizes drug manufactures when they increase prices faster than the rate of inflation.

“Today’s news is yet another example of the work Democrats have done to drive down costs for senior and American families,” Wyden said. “The announced reduction in coinsurance for these drugs, including Humira, is the culmination of legislation I first wrote in 2019 to hold Big Pharma accountable for price gouging, and is just the beginning of further cost protections Americans in Medicare will feel in the coming months and years.” 

The IRA protects Medicare beneficiaries who take Part B drugs (such as physician administered infusions and injections used to treat cancer and rheumatoid arthritis) if manufacturers continue price increases at rates that outpace inflation by reducing coinsurance for Medicare beneficiaries taking these same medications. Specifically, if the price Medicare faces for a Part B drug exceeds the amount that the drug would have cost if the manufacturer’s price only increased by the rate of inflation, then beginning April 1, 2023, a beneficiary’s coinsurance will be calculated based on 20 percent of the lower (inflation-adjusted) price.

Earlier this week, Wyden and 21 senators called on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to publicize information about the impact of the Medicare Part B inflation rebate on coinsurance for beneficiaries. Last month, Wyden called on CMS to share details about its implementation of the Medicare Part D inflation rebate. More information from CMS is available here.