Johnson & Johnson have become the latest drugmaker to sue the US government over Medicare drug price negotiations in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) put forward by President Biden.
J&J and the Janssen pharmaceutical unit sued the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, claiming the law is unconstitutional and would force Janssen to supply patented medicines at significantly below market prices. To avoid the planned negotiations, J&J would therefore have to withdraw its products from Medicare and Medicaid.
Moreover, the lawsuit argues the law violates the First Amendment to the US constitution guaranteeing free speech by compelling the company to make false statements such as that the prices set under the negotiations are fair.
In a statement, J&J said: “If manufacturers do not ‘agree’ to the government-dictated terms of the IRA, they face massive penalties up to 1900% of a selected drug’s daily sales or are forced to withdraw all of their products from both Medicare and Medicaid.”
J&J add to the growing list of drugmakers to oppose the legal rulings, as Merck & Co, Bristol Myers Squibb, the US Chamber of Commerce, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America have also filed lawsuits against the Government in a similar fashion. The IRA allows Medicare to negotiate lower prices for a selected group of prescription medicines, and a list of the first 10 Medicare Part D drugs selected for negotiation will be published by the government in September, with new prices to be effective in 2028.
- Johnson & Johnson sues US government over Medicare drug price negotiation programme. PMLive. https://www.pmlive.com/pharma_news/johnson_and_johnson_sues_us_government_over_medicare_drug_price_negotiation_programme_1495059. Accessed 24th July 2023.
- J&J sues to block Medicare drug price negotiations. Axios. https://www.axios.com/2023/07/18/johnson-johnson-files-lawsuit-ira. Accessed 24th July 2023.