Chamber of Commerce urges judges to dam Medicare drug negotiations

The US Chamber of Commerce seal will be displayed during the restoration at the Washington, DC headquarters

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday asked a federal judge in Ohio to block Medicare’s new powers to negotiate drug prices before Oct. 1.

The request for an injunction represents a significant escalation in the pharmaceutical industry’s litigation against Medicare that would result in talks being halted before they begin this fall.

Health and Human Services Minister Xavier Becerra will publish by September 1st a list of ten expensive drugs that will be selected for negotiations. The drugmakers will then have to decide whether to sign agreements to take part in the talks by October 1.

The US Chamber and local chambers of commerce in Dayton, Ohio and Michigan sued Medicare in federal court in the Southern District of Ohio in June. They argued that the drug trials violated the First and Fifth Amendments of the US Constitution and the separation of powers.

The chamber ordered Judge Thomas Rose on Wednesday to block the hearings before they begin because they violate the due process clause.

drug manufacturer Abbvie, a member of the US Chamber and the Dayton, Ohio District Chamber, fears his blood cancer drug Imbruvica will be selected for trials this fall. Imbruvica generated $4.6 billion in revenue last year, which accounts for about 8% of the company’s total revenue.

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