March 1, 2024 Press Releases

STATEMENT: Judge Rejects Another Drug Company Lawsuit Aimed At Blocking Medicare Negotiation

Patients For Affordable Drugs Responds to Judge’s Ruling Against AstraZeneca in The Pharmaceutical Corporation’s Lawsuit Against Medicare Drug Price Negotiation


WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today marked a significant moment in the ongoing fight to lower prescription drug prices as a federal judge in Delaware issued a sweeping ruling against AstraZeneca in a case brought by the drug company seeking to overturn Medicare negotiation established by the Inflation Reduction Act.

In a critical decision, the judge’s ruling affirms the Biden administration’s authority to negotiate drug prices, safeguarding reforms introduced by the historic drug price law. This lawsuit from AstraZeneca was one of nine cases being heard in courts across the country, collectively challenging Medicare’s hard-won ability to negotiate lower prescription drug prices for Americans and posing a direct threat to patients’ ability to access life-saving medications at affordable prices. However, the judge’s decision today unequivocally rejected AstraZeneca’s claims, emphasizing that the company’s desire for higher prices does not supersede the government’s ability to protect patient interests.

Merith Basey, Executive Director of Patients For Affordable Drugs, issued the following statement:

“On behalf of patients across this country, we are encouraged but not surprised that the court has rejected AstraZeneca’s self-serving arguments and essentially said the company didn’t have a leg to stand on. This ruling sends a clear message that Big Pharma’s greed cannot continue to be prioritized over patients’ well-being and underscores the importance of Medicare negotiation to begin to rein in exorbitant drug prices. The judge’s decision reaffirms that pharmaceutical companies, like AstraZeneca, have the option to participate in Medicare voluntarily, accepting slightly lower negotiated prices if they wish to access a market worth billions. Once again, a judge has reviewed drug company claims, and the result has gone against the drug company and for the people of the United States.

“Patients For Affordable Drugs is unwavering in our commitment to fight the pharmaceutical industry’s attempts to use the U.S. legal system to undermine policies aimed at reducing drug costs and ensuring patients can access the medications they need at prices they can afford.”

This ruling represents a victory for patients like Karen from Pueblo West, Colorado, who struggles to afford her Farxiga – AstraZeneca’s blockbuster drug which is among the 10 drugs selected for negotiation under Medicare – due to its high price tag. Karen shared her story with P4AD, stating, “I am on Medicare and was prescribed Farxiga with a bill of over $600 for a three-month supply. I am on a fixed income and can no way afford that amount of money.” Her story underscores the importance of Medicare negotiation in ensuring patients can access the essential treatments they need without facing financial hardship.

However, while this victory is significant, it is just one round in an ongoing fight. Seven other cases are still underway that threaten to undermine Medicare negotiations and keep prices high for patients.

Patients For Affordable Drugs Now has thus far signed onto seven amicus briefs – including one in this case – led by Public Citizen and supported by Protect Our Care, Doctors for America, and Families USA to support the government’s opposition and explain the harm high drug prices have on people on Medicare. Oral arguments will be heard on Thursday, March 7th in New Jersey in four cases brought by other pharmaceutical companies including Bristol Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Novo Nordisk, and Novartis.


  • In 2022 alone, AstraZeneca reported nearly $4.4 billion in revenue from Farxiga alone. It treats diabetes, heart failure, and chronic kidney disease.
  • The U.S. is the only high-income nation that doesn’t negotiate prices with drug companies, resulting in Americans paying 3 to 4 times what other wealthy countries pay for the same brand name drugs.
  • Unlike every other sector in health care where Medicare sets prices such as doctor fees, hospital costs, and equipment, pharmaceutical companies have been exempt from any form of negotiation. Pharmaceutical companies have the option to participate in Medicare voluntarily. They can accept slightly lower negotiated prices if they want to tap that huge market worth billions.
  • The 10 drugs chosen for negotiation were identified as the top spending drugs covered under Medicare Part D without generic or biosimilar equivalents that have been on the market for at least seven years and also meet other selection criteria.
  • Between June 2022 and May 2023, 8.3 million Medicare Part D enrollees used one or more of these medications.
  • On Feb. 1 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent initial offers of a fair price for each of the 10 drugs. Negotiation will run through Aug. 1 and on Sept. 1, the maximum fair prices will be announced, according to CMS.



Patients For Affordable Drugs is the only independent national patient organization focused exclusively on achieving policy changes to lower the price of prescription drugs.