MorningRX: August 29, 2023

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CMS announces the first 10 drugs selected for price negotiation under Medicare Part D, and a new study finds prescriptions for fruits and vegetables can improve health outcomes for people at increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

CMS Selects First Drugs For Medicare Price Negotiation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released the first 10 drugs that will be available for price negotiation under Medicare Part D, according to a press release from the agency. Under the Inflation Reduction Act, Medicare will be able to negotiate the prices of prescription drugs with participating drug companies beginning this year and in 2024, which will become effective in 2026. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the negotiation process "will consider the selected drug’s clinical benefit, the extent to which it fulfills an unmet medical need, and its impact on people who rely on Medicare." Medicare enrollees who took the 10 selected drugs paid a total of $3.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs in 2022.

“For far too long, pharmaceutical companies have made record profits while American families were saddled with record prices and unable to afford life-saving prescription drugs,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a release. “But thanks to the landmark Inflation Reduction Act, we are closer to reaching President Biden’s goal of increasing availability and lowering prescription drug costs for all Americans.”

The first 10 drugs are listed below:

  • Eliquis
  • Jardiance
  • Xarelto
  • Januvia
  • Farxiga
  • Entresto
  • Enbrel
  • Imbruvica
  • Stelara
  • Fiasp; Fiasp FlexTouch; Fiasp PenFill; NovoLog; NovoLog FlexPen; NovoLog PenFill

Prescriptions for Produce Associated With Better Heart Health

Prescriptions for fruits and vegetables was linked with improved BMI, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels in people at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a new study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. Participants in the study attended nutrition classes and received a median of $63 each month to buy produce from local stores and farmers markets. Investigators found that participants reported higher levels of fruit and vegetable intake. Additionally, adults were 62% more likely and children were more than twice as likely to report better health status by the end of the program.

“Poor nutrition and nutrition insecurity are major drivers of chronic disease globally, including cardiometabolic conditions like Type 2 diabetes and their cardiovascular consequences, including heart failure, heart attack and stroke,” Mitchell Elkind, MD, chief clinical science officer of the American Heart Association, said in a release. “This analysis of produce prescription programs illustrates the potential of subsidized produce prescriptions to increase consumption of nutritious fruits and vegetables, reduce food insecurity and, hopefully, improve subjective and objective health measures.”

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