Statement from the NKF on Passage of Inflation Reduction Act Giving Medicare New Powers over Drug Pricing
New York, NY (Aug. 16, 2022)—The following is a statement from Kevin Longino, Chief Executive Officer of the National Kidney Foundation and a kidney transplant recipient, on the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
“This legislation is a game changer for Medicare beneficiaries with kidney disease. It provides historic expansions of Medicare’s power to negotiate pricing for some patients’ most expensive drugs. It significantly reduces out-of-pocket costs for people who participate in Medicare Part D. And it caps insulin costs at $35/month, which will go a long way in helping slow the progression of kidney disease in people with diabetes. The National Kidney Foundation wholeheartedly applauds these actions.”
Additional Background on Inflation Reduction Act of 2022:
Since 2006, the Part D program has assisted millions of Americans with their drug needs. However, some Medicare patients need multiple medications that are very costly, so affordability has remained an issue.
This legislation addresses cost concerns as follows:
- Limits Part D out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs at $2,000 a year.
- Creates a “smoothing mechanism” that allows total out-of-pocket costs to be distributed throughout the year. This is especially important for Medicare patients who experience significant cost-sharing due to co-pays for high-cost prescriptions, or who require multiple drugs to treat their chronic diseases. Some patients reach the out-of-pocket cap in the first quarter of the calendar year.
- Allows Medicare to negotiate prices for a select number of high-priced drugs, further benefiting the patients who rely on them.
- Limits insulin copays for Medicare beneficiaries to $35 per month.
- Contains enhancements to the Low-Income Subsidy (LIS). This program currently provides full or partial subsidies for monthly premiums and cost-sharing depending on the patient’s income and assets. The new bill extends full subsidies to beneficiaries with incomes between 135-150% of the federal poverty level (FPL).
About National Kidney Foundation
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive, and longstanding patient-centric organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention, and treatment of kidney disease in the U.S. For more information about NKF, visit www.kidney.org.