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June 13, 2024 1:09 pm

Local News

Legislature Passes Bill Extending Medicare-Negotiated Drug Prices to All Nevadans

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by Camalot Todd, Nevada Current

Legislation that builds on lower drug prices negotiated through the federal Inflation Reduction Act and extends those price caps to all Nevadans, even those not on Medicare, is headed for Gov. Joe Lombardo’s desk. 

The bill passed the Assembly 27 to 15 in April, mostly along partisan lines with only Democratic Assemblymember Bea Duran voting against the bill. In the Senate, Assembly Bill 250 passed 13 to 7 along party lines last week. 

The bill will lower costs on prescription drugs that have been on the market for at least 7 years, are among the 15 drugs that have a high need and are drugs that cost Medicare the most, and do not have a generic alternative. The cost reductions would align with the IRA timeline. 

It would prohibit the purchase or sale of the most used and highest-cost prescription drugs in the state at prices higher than federal Medicare-negotiated prices.  

The federal Medicare drug pricing negotiations are estimated to reduce prices for certain drugs by 20 to 60 percent. These savings will be extended to Nevadans younger than 65 who don’t qualify for Medicare. 

Those supporting the bill include The Nevada Diabetes Association, Battle Born Progress, New Day Nevada, and the Committee to Protect Health Care.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the Culinary Union  PILMA (Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association),  the Epilepsy Foundation, Applied Pharmacy Solutions, the Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA), and Biotechnology Innovation Organization opposed the bill at a committee meeting earlier in the session.

PhRMA argued that capping prices could ultimately restrict access to drugs, because if a pharmacist can’t obtain a drug for non-Medicare patients at Medicare-negotiated prices, the drug might not be available to those not on Medicare.

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