Merck Suing US Govt. Over Medicare Drug Price Negotiations

    Image copyright: Cathrin Badzung [via Wikimedia Commons]

    The Facts

    • Drugmaker Merck & Co. on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Washington, DC claiming the federal government’s plan to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices violates the company’s First and Fifth Amendment rights.

    • Merck says the law will force it to negotiate drug prices at below-market rates, violating the Fifth Amendment requirement that the government pays "just compensation" for private property obtained for public use.

    The Spin

    Democratic narrative

    Merck is starting a barrage of lawsuits by greedy drug makers attempting to postpone implementation of the IRA drug pricing provisions before they completely cripple enforcement of the excise taxes that make the provisions work. Luckily, the drug companies don’t have a legal leg to stand on because they’re not entitled to sell their drugs to the government at any price they want and are free to not participate in Medicare.

    Republican narrative

    Merck and other drug companies need to sue not just to prevent the government from extorting them into selling their drugs for less than market value and bankrupting them, but also to prevent the slow-rolling, socialist-style government takeover of the pharmaceutical industry. When the government takes over, innovation dies and leaves people without important, new treatments and medicines.

    Political split



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