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WASHINGTON — Despite the pharmaceutical industry’s loud complaints to the contrary, the new law directing Medicare to negotiate drug prices may increase prices for some new drugs, congressional Medicare advisers said Friday.

Although Medicare drug price negotiation gets most of the attention, the Inflation Reduction Act also includes measures that make it easier for companies to raise prices when they launch drugs, according to Stacie Dusetzina, a member of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which advises Congress on Medicare policy. Also, companies get to sell drugs for several years before they’re subject to Medicare negotiation.


Previously, there was no cap on seniors’ annual drug costs. The new law includes a catastrophic cap and lets seniors spread out that capped amount over the year, which could also make it easier for drugmakers to set higher prices without sacrificing patient demand.

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