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Your Call

Big Pharma sues as Medicare begins negotiating drug prices

Policy & Medicine

On this edition of Your Call, we're discussing the Biden administration’s announcement of the first 10 prescription drugs selected for Medicare price negotiations.

The White House projects that the negotiations could save seniors $100 billion over the next decade, and reducing the cost of these drugs will help more than nine million people. Seniors paid $3.4 billion in out-of-pocket costs for these 10 medications in the last year.

Last year, top insurance company revenues reached$1.25 trillion, with profits reaching $69.3 billion in total, according to former Cigna executive Wendell Potter, who now advocates for healthcare reform.

Drug companies are suing to stop the price negotiations and keep high prices in place. What will it take to counter the powerful influence of the billion dollar pharmaceutical industry?


Wendell Potterpresident of the Center for Health and Democracy, former vice president of corporate communications for Cigna, and author of Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans

Peter Maybarduk, access to medicines director at Public Citizen

Web Resources:

Center for American Progress: Medicare Drug Price Negotiation Will Help Millions of Seniors and Improve Health Equity

The Lever: The System Makes Patients Sick And CEOs Rich

The American Prospect: Who’s Running Big Pharma’s Last Stand Against Slightly Fairer Drug Pricing

The Nation: Biden’s Bold Move on Drug Prices Gives the GOP Two Choices: Change the Subject, or Lie

AP: 10 drugs targeted for Medicare price negotiations as Biden pitches cost reductions

The Intercept: Biden Administration Adds Insulin to Drug Price Negotiation List in Major Blow to Big Pharma

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.
Bee Soll is a producer with Your Call at KALW, and a producer, writer, and editor at KCBS Radio in San Francisco. She is a former reporter for Crosscurrents and contributor at KPFA Radio.