June 21, 2024 Press Releases

STATEMENT: Patients For Affordable Drugs’ Responds To Boehringer Ingelheim’s Oral Arguments In Corporation’s Lawsuit Against Medicare Negotiation

Patients For Affordable Drugs Continues to Fight Against Big Pharma’s Attempts to Undermine Medicare Drug Price Negotiation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Oral arguments were presented today in the case brought by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals challenging Medicare’s authority to negotiate lower drug prices for patients. During the proceedings, the judge expressed skepticism about the harm the pharmaceutical company claimed it would face should it decide to participate in Medicare negotiation – despite the fact that Boehringer Ingelheim agreed to negotiate with Medicare in October 2023. 

The case heard today is part of a coordinated effort by several big drug companies to overturn Medicare’s negotiating power established under the Inflation Reduction Act. Boehringer Ingelheim is fighting to protect windfall profits from its blockbuster drug Jardiance – one of the most profitable brand-name medications in the world. The pharma giant is attempting to block the implementation of the program using several constitutional and procedural arguments – echoing claims made by other drug companies in previous cases, which have been unsuccessful in court.

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

“Today’s argument is a reminder that drug companies will go to any lengths and spend millions of dollars to protect their full monopoly power in order to continue to dictate high drug prices to American patients and taxpayers. In 2023, Boehringer Ingelheim reported over $8 billion in sales of Jardiance – an increase since 2022. Yet, they will employ any means necessary to block any reforms aimed at making drugs more affordable for those who need them.

“Patients For Affordable Drugs stands firm in our commitment to defending the hard-fought reforms that are already lowering drug prices for patients. Despite the pharmaceutical industry’s efforts and the millions of dollars they’ve invested in their cases, judges have ruled against pharma and for patients every time. As evidenced by these recent victories for patients and consumers in court, we are making progress in the battle against pharma’s monopoly power, but the fight is far from over.”

In February, a judge in Texas dismissed a lawsuit from the industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), challenging the program. In September, a district Judge in Ohio ruled against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s case. Most recently, in March, judges dealt a one-two punch to Big Pharma; a Delaware judge ruled against the pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, and just days later, a judge in New Jersey ruled against Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bristol Myers Squibb in similar cases. 

Gillian, a Virginia resident who has lived with Type 2 diabetes for 24 years, was prescribed Jardiance to manage her condition. With a price of $680, the medication is far beyond her reach on a fixed income. Unable to afford her treatment, Gillian struggles to control her blood sugar through diet alone, constantly having to monitor every bite she eats at the expense of her overall health. Stories like Gillian’s underscore the importance of Medicare’s negotiation authority, which would make essential medications like Jardiance more accessible to patients who desperately need them. After negotiation, the average prescription cost for Jardiance is estimated to be $152 a month – equaling hundreds of dollars of savings for Gillian.

Patients For Affordable Drugs NOW has thus far signed onto seven amicus briefs, including in today’s 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. 

Background on Medicare negotiation:

  • In 2023 alone, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals made $8 billion in sales from Jardiance.
    • 1,573,000 people on Medicare Part D used Jardiance between June 2022-May 2023 
    • The average annual prescription cost for Part D enrollees was $4,487.
  • The U.S. is the only high-income nation that doesn’t negotiate prices with drug companies resulting in Americans paying 3-8 times what other high-income countries pay for the same brand name drugs. 
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Medicare negotiation is supported by more than 80 percent of voters.
  • Big pharmaceutical companies poured $52 million into lobbying efforts to stop the Inflation Reduction Act – a clear sign of the money they’re willing to spend to block initiatives aimed at lowering drug prices for consumers. 


Patients For Affordable Drugs is the only national, bipartisan patient advocacy organization focused exclusively on lowering drug prices. We empower patients by amplifying their experiences with high drug prices and hold drug corporations accountable for their exploitative pricing tactics. P4AD does not accept funding from organizations that profit from the development and distribution of drugs.


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