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Prices For Some Prescriptions To Decrease


Area residents dealing with diabetics and other medical challenges will benefit from a new federal prescription plan. Through the Inflation Reduction Act, Medicare is able to negotiate drug prices on behalf of patients for 10 drugs.

The drugs include insulin and Jardiance, an anti-diabetic medication used to improve glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes.

According to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, diabetes was a primary or contributing factor to about 4,600 Montana deaths from 20152019.

The department reports that eastern Montana tracts within Roosevelt, Rosebud, Big Horn and Yellowstone counties had four of the top 10 highest rates.

The American Diabetes Association reports that about 9.1 percent of the adult population in Montana has diabetes. Each year, an estimated 6,515 people in Montana are diagnosed with diabetes. People with diabetes have medical expenses approximately 2.3 times higher than those who do not have diabetes.

“Montanans should never have to make the choice between life-saving medication or putting food on the table. We’re lowering the cost of 10 of the most common prescription drugs,” U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., said in a press release. “I am proud to have stood tough against large pharmaceutical corporations and successfully demand that they stop unnecessarily jacking up prices on folks across the state. Montanans sent me to Washington to deliver results, and I will continue to take on anyone to lower costs.”

The negotiating process has started, with cuts scheduled to go into effect in 2026.

The other medications are:

•Eliquis: An anticoagulant medication used to treat and prevent blood clots and to prevent stroke.

•Xarelto: Used to treat and prevent blood clots. May lower the risk of stroke, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism and similar conditions.

•Januvia: Used as a once-daily prescription pill that helps lower blood sugar levels in adults with type 2 diabetes.

•Farxiga: Used to treat type 2 diabetes. Also used to treat adults with heart failure and chronic kidney disease.

•Entresto: Is a fixed-dose combination medication for use in heart failure.

•Enbrel: A biologic medi- cal product that is used to treat autoimmune diseases.

•Imbruvica: Used to treat certain cancers (such as chronic lymphocytic leukemia/ small lymphocytic lymphoma, Waldenstrom’s macroglobulinemia).

•Stelara: Used to treat adults 18 years and older with moderately to severely active Crohn’s disease.

“Today represents another major milestone in what has been a long journey towards finally making medicines affordable for Montanans enrolled in Medicare. Sen. Jon Tester kept his promise to lower health costs by passing this historic reform that will finally enable Medicare to negotiate prices on some of the most expensive medicines in Part D,” said Tully Olson, executive director of Big Sky 55+. “Once implemented, over 100,000 Montanans with Part D plans will save money on treating everything from diabetes to cancer and taxpayers can expect to save over $98 billion over the next decade.”

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