Biden vows to lower prescription drug prices

  • The Biden administration has touted lower drug prices for Medicare patients
  • Previous efforts to cap the price of insulin have failed in Congress
  • Drug costs could be a central theme in the Democrat's 2024 campaign

(NewsNation) — President Joe Biden put his administration’s plan to lower prescription drug prices in the spotlight on Wednesday in Las Vegas in a possible preview of his priorities for a 2024 reelection run.

The president thanked health care workers for their efforts during the pandemic, and told the audience all Americans deserve some peace of mind that they will be able to get and afford the medical care they need.

“Too many people lay in bed at night wondering what would happen if they got in an accident or their spouse got in an accident,” Biden said.

Biden referred to his work on the Affordable Care Act while calling out Republicans who continue to try to repeal the law.

“It’s not just about your health — it’s about your dignity, your security,” Biden said.

Biden focused heavily on legislation from his administration that has helped reduce costs of health care and medication for seniors on fixed incomes, as well as the government savings as a result of Medicare being able to negotiate drug prices.

He touted his administration’s success in lowering prescription drug prices for seniors who rely on Medicare and Medicare Part D, including a $35 cap on insulin. He also pointed to his recently released budget proposal for 2024 that includes provisions to cap insulin costs for all Americans. The president specifically mentioned children with Type I diabetes, who require insulin to survive.

As Medicare began to negotiate lower drug prices, the cost of other drugs began falling too, as pharmaceutical companies will be required to issue Medicare inflation rebates for drugs that rose in cost more than the rate of inflation.

While legislation already passed by the administration helps increase the safety net for seniors, it doesn’t help Americans who are uninsured or who rely on commercial insurance offered through employers or the health care exchange. Previous efforts to cap insulin prices have failed in Congress despite the widespread public support the proposal enjoys.

Biden, however, has still championed last year’s bill as a success for the millions of Americans who aren’t on Medicare. Drug companies, facing public pressure after tripling their prices for the life-saving diabetes drug over the last two decades, have started to voluntarily lower insulin costs. Drugmaker Novo Nordisk announced on Tuesday that it was cutting the cost of insulin to about $72 a vial on the heels of an announcement from rival Eli Lilly that it would start selling its generic for $25.

“This builds on the important progress we made last year when I signed a law to cap insulin at $35 for seniors,” Biden said in a statement on Tuesday on Novo Nordisk’s announcement. “I urge all other manufacturers to follow suit, and Republicans in Congress to join us and cap insulin at $35 for all Americans.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


© 1998 - 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. | All Rights Reserved.

Trending on NewsNation