On, August 7, the U.S. Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act, a keystone piece of legislation meant to fulfill promises by Democrats to address inequities in the healthcare system, climate and taxes. Negotiation by Medicare for the cost of prescription drugs is a centerpiece of the bill. This provision, if signed into law, will allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices starting in 2026 for the top ten high-cost, most-used drugs, and expand to 20 drugs by 2029. Starting in 2025, Medicare beneficiaries will also have their out of pocket costs capped at $2,000 annually. The bill will penalize drug manufacturers if the cost of their treatments for Medicare beneficiaries outpaces inflation.
The AUA continues to express concerns with the development of the top drug costs list as a potentially burdensome provision that could leave urologists in the middle of negotiations between industry and government. The AUA will continue to review the potential side effects of this bill and seek to address those concerns with legislators.