On August 16, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law. The legislation impacted taxes, climate and health care – and notably, drug pricing in Medicare. The law will have a significant impact on the health care sector.
There are five main provisions that affect the health care industry and Medicare beneficiaries in this legislation.
A federal report found 3.5 million seniors on Medicare are struggling to pay for prescription drugs and price controls for drugs covered under Medicare are intended to lower out-of-pocket costs for consumers.
While it will take time for the full impact of the legislation’s health care provisions to be felt, we can expect the health care issues – specifically drug pricing – to be discussed and debated by candidates during the upcoming midterm election. These changes also come as the health care sector is undergoing a significant transformation responding to multiple pandemics, staffing shortages and a digital revolution.
The 30-year fight over drug pricing is not over quite yet despite the Inflation Reduction Act becoming law. And the outcome of the new law is not a clear win or loss for either side. Ultimately, the impact of the law could potentially be influenced by a number of upcoming factors.
Although the impact of the bill is still unclear, policies and implementation will solidify as events unfold in the coming months. Now it is time for stakeholders to take a fresh look at strategies and messaging as these events play out in order to shape implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act and any additional drug price control legislation.