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A federal agency plans to negotiate drug pricing. Here's how it may affect Arizona

As the anniversaries of Medicare and the Inflation Reduction Act approach, four major drug companies are suing the federal government to block negotiations over drug pricing.

That’s because later this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will negotiate with drug makers for the prices of 10 prescriptions, to be determined later.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Greg Stanton voiced his support for the move, made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act.

“They’ll negotiate 15 more pricey drugs for 2027, 15 more in ‘28, and 20 more each year after that,” Stanton said.

Savings from the first negotiations will go into effect January 2026.

Will Humble with the Arizona Public Health Association said the negotiations will also affect those who don’t immediately benefit from lower copays and yearly payment caps.

“Even young people who aren’t taking any drugs should care about this because the price of these drugs are draining our Medicare trust fund,” Humble said.

Dora Vasquez with the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans said this progress is especially important for seniors of color and people with disabilities because of the barriers they face to affordable medicine.

“Among adults 65 and older, Latino Medicare beneficiaries have been 1.5 times as likely as white beneficiaries to have trouble affording medications,” Vasquez said.

The secretary of Health and Human Services is working with CMS to select which 10 drugs to focus on first. The list is currently planned for Sept. 1.

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Kirsten Dorman is a field correspondent at KJZZ. Born and raised in New Jersey, Dorman fell in love with audio storytelling as a freshman at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in 2019.