After Merck filed a bombshell lawsuit challenging some measures in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Bristol Myers Squibb has followed on with a case of its own.
The New York-based pharma giant took the same approach as Merck, questioning the constitutionality of some aspects of the law. Specifically, BMS alleges that the IRA’s price-setting facets, which allow Medicare to negotiate and set prices for certain drugs, violate the First and the Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.
BMS claims that the requirement that drugmakers provide their innovative meds at prices set by the government breaches the Fifth Amendment’s mandate that the government must pay a fair amount for property intended for the public good.
Further, the act’s requirement that companies publicly endorse Medicare's negotiated prices is forced speech that contradicts the First Amendment, the company alleges.
BMS says it has “long supported” efforts to increase patient access and lower out-of-pocket healthcare costs and that it supports some aspects of the IRA that will improve affordability, according to the company's recent statement.
Still, the company says it's held grave concerns about the IRA “since its inception,” specifically over its implications for R&D. BMS says it has already tweaked the way it considers its development programs in “oncology and beyond.”
The law's framework forces tough decisions about chasing new indications and advancing new meds, making it “bad for innovation” and patients who rely on the industry, according to the drugmaker.
Earlier this month, Merck laid out the same arguments about the IRA in its lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), calling the pricing negotiation measures “tantamount to extortion.” Other drugmakers have voiced their support of the litigation and some, such as Biogen, are considering their own suits against the agency.