Ten Drugs Medicare Will Negotiate New Drug Pricing

Or a Tale of two Pricings for the Same Drug, One for the US and another for other countries.

Eventually Medicare is going to get around to negotiating with these ten companies for the ten drugs in question here. As taken from one section of Lever News, I have reposted the finding of those ten drugs. What you will see is the pricing for the United States as compared to the pricing in other countries. I do not believe many people are aware of how great the difference is today. It is a relatively simple report.

Data taken from “Big Pharma’s American Con,” Lever News, Andrew Perez and Matthew

According to a Lever review of government studies, think tank reports, and international pharmacy websites, the top 10 drugs Medicare will negotiate are sold for less in other countries.  

  1. Januvia, a once-daily pill from Merck helps to lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes. A House Democrats report in 2019 found Januvia was priced at $15.70 per dose in the U.S. Roughly a price 1,020 percent higher than in the international markets where it cost just $1.40 on average.
  2. Novo Nordisk’s insulin NovoLog is priced at $37.30 per dose in the U.S. The U.S. pricing is 440 percent more than the $6.90 that it costs in other countries as reported.
  3. Janssen’s Stelara, injection used to treat Crohn’s disease and severe plaque psoriasis, costs $16,600 per dose in the U.S. This is 363 percent more than the $3,585 priced elsewhere.
  4. Johnson & Johnson’s drug Xarelto from Johnson & Johnson blood clotting to reduce the risk of stroke. Xarelto’s domestic gross retail price was $15.70 per pill, according to a 2021 report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. That is 582 percent higher than the $2.30 it is sold for on average in Australia, Canada, and France.
  5. Novartis’s drug Entresto is used treat heart failure. It retails in the U.S. for $9.20 per pill, or 226 percent higher than the $2.82 it’s sold for in Australia, Canada, and France.
  6. AbbVie’s Imbruvica, used to treat blood cancers, retails for $158 per pill in the U.S., more than double what it costs in those countries.
  7. Bristol-Myers Squibb Eliquis is used to prevent blood clotting and reduce the risk of stroke. A report  last year from the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute, Eliquis is old in the U.S. at a median cost of $7.30 per pill, This is 265 percent higher than the $2 it’s been sold for in Germany, Spain, and Switzerland.

Among the drugs on the Biden administration’s negotiation list are two used to treat Type 2 diabetes: Jardiance, from Boehringer Ingelheim; and Farxiga, from AstraZeneca. A 2016 research update from the NIH’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases found the institutes “supported many stages” of the research leading to the creation of both Jardiance and Farxiga. 

Jardiance: According to Pharmacy Checker, the cheapest discounted price for it in the U.S. is $19.04 per tablet. This is 1068 percent higher than the average $1.63 it is sold for at online international pharmacies. 

Farxiga lowest discounted U.S. price is $18.14 per tablet, according to the same website. That is nearly 967 percent higher than the $1.70 it’s sold for on average via online international pharmacies. 

Enbrel, made by Amgen, treats symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Enbrel is sold in the U.S. in packages of four single-dose injections at a median cost of $5,087, according to the Health Care Cost Institute report. That cost is 373 percent higher than the $1,076 that patients pay on average in Germany, Spain, and Switzerland.