ARTICLE | Politics, Policy & Law

IRA drug list underscores challenges for industry

Selections underline difficulty in predicting how Inflation Reduction Act will be implemented

August 30, 2023 2:03 AM UTC

Reactions to publication of the list of the initial 10 drugs subject to price-setting under the Inflation Reduction Act show that while it may be bad public policy, it is excellent politics. Concerns about the law’s impact on biomedical innovation are not dulling the White House’s celebrations of a victory over drug manufacturers or preventing Democrats from calling for more punitive measures, including extending the Medicare drug negotiation program to include drugs that have been on the market for as little as five years.  

The Biden administration and congressional Democrats are wearing consternation from “big pharma” about the IRA as a badge of honor, and the public seems to be solidly behind them. Recent polling data shows the biopharma industry’s warnings that the IRA will slow the advance of medicine do not resonate with Democrats, Republicans or independents. At the same time, although effects of drug price-setting on out-of-pocket are uncertain, there is broad support for assertions that the law will benefit patients...