Bristol-Myers Squibb On Friday, he sued the Biden administration over new Medicare powers to lower drug prices, the third such lawsuit to be filed against the program in a matter of days.
The suit, filed in New Jersey federal district court, alleges that Medicare negotiations violated the First and Fifth Amendments to the US Constitution.
Bristol Myers Squibb asked the court to declare the program unconstitutional and prevent the Department of Health and Human Services from forcing the company into negotiations.
Bristol-Myers Squibb’s arguments mirror those he made last week merck, the first company to sue the federal government over drug negotiations. The US Chamber of Commerce also sued HHS over the program with similar arguments.
The Reducing Inflation Act, passed in 2022 in a narrow party-line vote, authorized Medicare to negotiate drug prices for the first time in the program’s six-decade history. The law is a central pillar of the Biden administration’s efforts to control soaring drug prices and has been a major victory for the Democratic Party.
Bristol-Myers Squibb said Elix, a drug used to treat stroke and stroke, will be subject to negotiations this year. The company brought in $11.8 billion in revenue from Eliquis last year, about 25% of the company’s total revenue of $46 billion for 2022.
The drug company also said Opdivo, which is used to treat several types of cancer, will be subject to Medicare negotiations in the future. Opdivo generated $8.2 billion in sales for the company in 2022, which made up about 18% of the drugmaker’s total revenue that year.
Bristol-Myers Squibb argued that the federal government is forcing the company into negotiations and eventually agreeing to a deeply discounted price. The company claims that this violates Fifth Amendment protections against government appropriation of private property without fair compensation.
The drug company also alleged that HHS is forcing the company to publicly offer the program as a negotiated fair price. The company called the negotiations a sham and alleged that the federal government was forcing the drug company to “imitate its preferred political message” in violation of the First Amendment.
HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, in a statement after Merck’s lawsuit last week, vowed to vigorously defend the inflation-lowering law in court, saying, “The law is on our side.”
Also in a statement after Merck’s lawsuit, White House press secretary Karen Jean-Pierre said that the Biden administration is confident of its victory in court.
“There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices,” Jean-Pierre said.