Currently, there are about 41 million Americans enrolled in the Medicare D prescription drug program. Understandably, many of these individuals are concerned about the climbing costs of prescription drugs in the United States.

Biosimilars– affordable medicines used to treat cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases—have the potential to reduce out-of-pocket prescription costs for patients. In fact, it is estimated that biosimilars could save between $44 billion and $250 billion over the next decade.

In 2010, Congress created the Coverage Gap Discount Program in an effort to limit the out-of-pocket costs for Medicare patients. However, the program does not treat biosimilar options equally which can force patients to pay for higher-cost treatments. Under the program, brand-name manufacturers are required to provide a 50% discount to patients in the coverage gap but biosimilar manufacturers are not eligible to pay those discounts. As a result, patients are often placed on more expensive drugs.

Making this change to Medicare’s Coverage Gap Discount Program could lower prescription drug costs for millions of Medicare patients. That’s why IWV signed a coalition letter encouraging Congress to enact legislation to classify biosimilars as “applicable drugs” in the Coverage Gap Discount Program. Click HERE to read the full letter. Then, click HERE to encourage Congress to take action to reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients.