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More than 100,000 Coloradans could see price cuts in ten Medicare prescriptions

Including treatment for life-threatening conditions like cancer, heart failure and diabetes
Posted at 5:57 PM, Sep 05, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS — The US Department of Health and Human Services is negotiating Medicare prescription prices for the first time ever. This is part of the Inflation Reduction Act.

More than 100,000 Coloradans could see cuts to their costly medications. Ten are up for negotiation, which includes treatment to life-threatening conditions like cancer, heart failure, and diabetes.

Seniors spent 3.4 billion dollars in out-of-pocket costs for these drugs in 2022, according to the Biden Administration.

Negotiations are happening now, but any price cuts won't go into effect until 2026.

Over the next four years, the Biden Administration said another 60 prescriptions could also see price cuts.

Gus Garcia is diabetic. He's been taking Jardiance every day for the past 15 years.

"Without these medications, I would be hospitalized," said Garcia. "It would be nice if these medications weren't thousands of dollars."

He said he pays about 30 dollars for monthly prescriptions. "That is still fairly expensive when you look at all of the price increases that we've had," said Garcia.

"It shouldn't be something that is so taxing that we are having to decide whether or not we can help our daughter who is going to college or we are going to buy our medications," said Garcia.

High drug prices also create challenges for some pharmacies.

"If it comes to a point where they are giving us a price that we can't live with then we will have to refuse to refill a prescription," said the owner of The Prescription Shop in Pueblo Jim Sajbel.

Sajbel said they're hoping for lower costs so they can pass savings on to customers.

"We never see negotiations, we get them dropped on us and then we have to hunt to find the best price so we don't lose money," said Sajbel.

Garcia said any price cut would mean he could better support his two daughters and mother-in-law.

"We're not able to do that right now with drug prices being so high and it's a shame," said Garcia.

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