Bristol Myers sues Biden administration Medicare drug negotiations

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By Stacy Connor

Bristol Myers Squibb on Friday sued the Biden administration over Medicare‘s new powers to slash drug costs, the third such lawsuit to be filed towards this system in a matter of days.

The lawsuit filed in federal district courtroom in New Jersey argues the Medicare negotiations violate the First and Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Structure.

Bristol Myers Squibb has requested the courtroom to declare this system unconstitutional and stop the Well being and Human Providers Division from forcing the corporate to enter negotiations.

Bristol Myers Squibb’s arguments mirror these lodged final week by Merck, the primary firm to sue the federal authorities over the drug negotiations. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has additionally sued HHS over this system with related arguments.

The Inflation Discount Act, handed in 2022 in a slender party-line vote, empowered Medicare to barter drug costs for the primary time in this system’s six-decade historical past. The regulation is the central pillar within the Biden administration’s efforts to manage rising drug costs and was a significant victory for the Democratic Get together.

Bristol Myers Squibb stated its blood thinner Eliquis, used to deal with clots and strokes, can be topic to the negotiations this yr. The corporate generated $11.8 billion in income from Eliquis final yr, about 25% of the corporate’s $46 billion in whole income for 2022.

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The drugmaker additionally stated Opdivo, used to deal with a number of forms of most cancers, can be topic to the Medicare negotiations sooner or later. Opdivo generated $8.2 billion in gross sales for the corporate in 2022, which made up about 18% of the drugmaker’s whole income for that yr.

Bristol Myers Squibb argued the federal authorities is forcing the corporate to enter negotiations and finally comply with a closely discounted worth. The corporate claims this violates Fifth Modification protections towards the federal government seizing non-public property with out simply compensation.

The drugmaker additionally claimed HHS is forcing the corporate to publicly current this system as a negotiation over a good worth. The corporate referred to as the negotiations a sham and claimed the federal authorities is forcing the drugmaker to “parrot its most well-liked political messaging” in violation of the First Modification.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, in a press release after Merck’s lawsuit final week, vowed to vigorously defend the Inflation Discount Act in courtroom, saying, “The regulation is on our facet.”

White Home Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, additionally in a press release after Merck’s swimsuit, stated the Biden administration is assured it is going to win in courtroom.

“There’s nothing within the Structure that stops Medicare from negotiating decrease drug costs,” Jean-Pierre stated.

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