August 7, 2022

EmployersRx Statement on Ruling to Exclude Drugs Sold in the Commercial Market from the Inflation Reduction Act

In response to news that the Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that language in the Inflation Reduction Act must be modified to exclude drugs sold in the commercial market from limitations on prescription drug price increases, the Employers Prescription for Affordable Drugs coalition issued the following statement:

“Employers are gravely concerned that changes to the Inflation Reduction Act will result in price increases for working families who get their health insurance through an employer. Since the measures will now apply to Medicare only, the legislation would actually increase prices for those with commercial coverage, above the unsustainably high prices they’re already paying, as costs are shifted from Medicare to employer plans. [For details, see: Kramer blog in Health Affairs and Conti et al article in JAMA Health Forum].

“With this most recent change, and because reconciliation rules also led to the elimination of provisions protecting employer-sponsored coverage in the Medicare negotiations provisions, the prescription drug sections of the Inflation Reduction Act are now entirely Medicare-focused. This should be especially concerning, as those under 65 are the most vulnerable to high drug prices.

“EmployersRx urges Congress to reevaluate these provisions, and avoid adopting measures that fail to protect working families. If prices are reduced in Medicare with no corresponding protections for commercial markets, working families may well foot the bill as costs will rise to recoup losses from Medicare drug sales.”