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Congressman Don Beyer, National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Medicare Storyteller Join Protect Our Care Virginia to Discuss Biden Administration's Efforts to Lower Rx Drug Costs Ahead of Upcoming Medicare Drug Negotiations

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Don Beyer, National Domestic Workers Alliance Virginia State Director Yanet Limon-Amado, and Medicare storyteller Irv Varkonyi joined Protect Our Care Virginia to discuss the Biden-Harris administration’s next steps in implementing the Inflation Reduction Act’s Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Program. The administration released the final guidance outlining the process for negotiation, and by September 1, the ten drugs that are selected for the first round of price negotiations will be announced.

Speakers also discussed a new fact sheet from Protect Our Care outlining how the Inflation Reduction Act reduces health care costs for Virginians— with even more savings on the way as the law’s provisions to give Medicare the power to negotiate and cap seniors’ prescription drug costs take effect. The new fact sheet follows new polling that shows the health care measures in the Inflation Reduction Act are the most popular in the entire bill.

This event comes as Republicans and big drug companies are attacking the Inflation Reduction Act in Congress and the courts. Pharmaceutical giants Merck, Bristol Myers Squibb, Astellas Pharma, and Johnson & Johnson-owned Janssen Pharmaceuticals, as well as the industry’s trade association PhRMA, are laser-focused on undermining the Inflation Reduction Act by filing lawsuits to protect their profits and stop the administration from negotiating lower drug prices. Big Pharma’s GOP allies in Congress have already introduced legislation to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act’s prescription drug provisions, which would increase drug costs for millions of seniors.

“The most transformative achievement, which we were able to get done thanks to the Ways and Means committee on which I serve, was the Inflation Reduction Act,” said Congressman Beyer. “If this had been in place in 2020, our estimates from 2022 found that Medicare beneficiaries in just my Congressional district could have saved a total of $5 million in reduced premiums and out-of-pocket costs.”

“This win in the Inflation Reduction Act is a significant victory for the many Black and brown women that make up a majority of the care workforce,” said National Domestic Workers Alliance Virginia State Director Yanet Limon-Amado. “We’re thankful to President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Congressional champions like Congressman Beyer for securing this hard-fought win.”

“I was on private insurance at the time and my private insurance was very good. I was able to cover [SKYRIZI] and my co-pays at that time as I recall was $5 per injection. When I moved to Medicare, however, my co-pays increased from $5 per injection to an average of $1,500 per injection 4 times a year,” said Irv Varkonyi of Fairfax. “To me, what the Inflation Reduction Act is going to do is that cap of $2,000 [for Medicare Part D recipients] is going to save me and my wife $8,000 to $10,000 a year.”

You can watch the event here, and learn more about how the Biden administration is working to keep health care costs low for Virginians here.