Although President Biden’s new drug price reduction law was passed this year, the law will not take effect immediately.
The need for the new law, however, was underscored by the release of a study showing that drug price increases for over 1,200 drugs exceeded inflation between July 2021 and July 2022, including many drugs used to treat cancer and other chronic conditions, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The increases in these drugs averaged 31.6%. Beginning in 2023, the Inflation Reduction Act requires drug manufacturers to pay rebates to Medicare if they enact price increases greater than inflation. The law also requires the federal government to negotiate prices for certain Medicare drugs with high spending.
Between 2016 and 2021, drug spending growth was largely due to an increase in spending per prescription and a 43% increase in the cost of specialty drugs, according to another new HHS report.