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Tonko Cheers Drug Pricing Reforms Delivered by Inflation Reduction Act

Joins AARP, local advocates to celebrate major health care savings that will cut costs for local families

  • Rep. Paul Tonko

ALBANY, NY—Congressman Paul D. Tonko announced that families in the Capital Region will soon see more affordable prescription drugs for Medicare recipients and lower health insurance premiums made possible by the Inflation Reduction Act. Tonko joined local advocates to speak on the impact these reforms will have on reducing premiums and out-of-pocket costs for residents, particularly for seniors.

“It is basic fact that, in the richest country in the world, people should not be forced to choose between paying for their health care and putting food on the table,” Congressman Tonko said. “But this has been the reality for many, most often for seniors who rely on prescriptions to lead full, healthy lives. With the Inflation Reduction Act now the law of the land, Democrats in Congress have taken bold steps to rein in out-of-control health care costs and slash drug prices for millions of Americans. I’m proud to have voted for this transformational legislation, which will have lasting effects on Capital Region families who need it.”

“For 20 years, Medicare has been legally prohibited from negotiating for lower drug prices, and the pharmaceutical industry has been fighting to keep that prohibition in place to protect their profits,” said David McNally, AARP New York Director of Government Affairs and Advocacy. “We can't overstate what a monumental improvement this prescription drug package will be for older Americans struggling to afford their medications. AARP thanks Representative Tonko for standing up to the big drug companies and voting to lower drug prices for seniors.” 

“The Inflation Reduction Act will improve the lives of millions of Americans, including many seniors struggling to pay for their prescription drugs. By allowing Medicare to negotiate prices, capping increases, and improving Part D, Congressman Tonko is delivering real relief for New Yorkers when they need it most,” said Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO.

For years, Tonko has championed legislation in Congress that would address the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs. Last year, he introduced the bipartisan Star Rating for Biosimilars Act, a bill that directs the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to evaluate Medicare plans based on whether or not cost-saving biosimilars are available to enrollees. He also introduced the Advancing Enrollment and Reducing Drug Costs Act, that would expand low-income seniors’ access to prescription drugs under the Medicare prescription drug benefit program, also known as Medicare Part D.

The actions taken by the Inflation Reduction Act to lower prescription drug costs will deliver vital benefits for Capital Region Residents:

  • For the estimated 10,200 Medicare beneficiaries receiving insulin in the district, the new law will cap monthly copayments for insulin at $35 per month.

  • The Inflation Reduction Act finally allows the government to negotiate lower drug prices with Big Pharma. If the Inflation Reduction Act’s drug pricing provisions had been fully in effect in 2020:

            o   The total cost of prescriptions filled by Medicare beneficiaries in NY-20 could have been $55 million lower.

            o   Medicare beneficiaries in the district could have saved a total of $17 million in reduced premiums and out-of-pocket costs.


The report on benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act Medicare drug pricing provisions for NY-20 residents can be found HERE.



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