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U.S. government sets penalties on 43 drugs over price hikes By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden answers a question during a joint news conference with Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the East Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2023. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

By Patrick Wingrove

(Reuters) – The Biden administration on Friday announced it would impose inflation penalties on 43 drugs for the third quarter of 2023, having fined 27 earlier this year, in a move it said would lower costs for older Americans by as much as $449 per dose.

Drugmakers hiked the price of these 43 drugs by more than the rate of inflation and are required to pay the difference of those medicines to Medicare, the federal health program for Americans over age 65.

“People taking 43 of these drugs could pay less (in coinsurance) to access these important treatments, starting July 1,” Dr. Meena Seshamani, director for Medicare at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) told reporters.

The Medicare agency plans to send the first invoices to drugmakers in 2025 for the rebates owed to Medicare this year and for 2024.

President Joe Biden’s signature Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) includes a provision that penalizes drugmakers for charging prices that rise faster than inflation for people on Medicare.

Biden announced in March that his administration would subject 27 drugs to inflation fines for the second quarter of this year. The new list of 43 replaces that selection for the third quarter of 2023.

The list of drugs facing the inflation penalty for the third quarter includes – for the second time – AbbVie’s (NYSE:.N) blockbuster arthritis drug Humira and Seagen’s (SGEN.O) targeted cancer therapy Padcev, the White House said in a fact sheet.

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