Millions May See Lower Out-of-Pocket Costs for Heart Medications

Inflation Reduction Act may make cardiovascular therapy more affordable for Medicare beneficiaries

Photo looking down to a woman's hands, one holding a glass of water, in the other hand, some pills
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Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, including in the United States, where about 20 percent of all deaths are caused by heart disease. Highly effective medications can lower the rates of death and disability related to cardiovascular diseases.

However, the expense of long-term prescription medications represents a significant barrier to care for many patients with chronic cardiovascular conditions.

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The Inflation Reduction Act signed into law in August 2022 includes several clauses related to drug benefits that are expected to lower prescription medication costs for Medicare Part D beneficiaries over time and expand low-income subsidies.

In two studies simultaneously published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Harvard Medicine School researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center analyzed data to estimate how the provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) may affect Medicare beneficiaries with cardiovascular risk factors and conditions.

The analysis projects that millions of beneficiaries will experience lower out-of-pocket drug costs.

The first study looked at out-of-pocket prescription drug costs, which have “risen steadily in the United States,” according to the study’s senior author, Rishi Wadhera, HMS assistant professor of medicine and section head of health policy and equity at the Smith Center for Outcomes Research in Cardiology at Beth Israel Deaconess.