A timeline of Merck’s legal battle over Medicare negotiation

[Photocreo Bednarek/Adobe Stock]

Marking the first legal challenge of its kind, pharma giant Merck & Co. took to the courts on Tuesday, directly contesting the U.S. government over the Medicare drug price negotiation program. The Big Pharma company’s lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, contends the program’s basis — the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) — infringes upon the Fifth and First Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

The legislation has put pricing pressure on the industry and contributed to a wave of recent M&A deals.

Merck, and the wider pharmaceutical industry, are raising the alarm. They claim the law, in effect, coerces drugmakers into accepting below-market rates. The lobbying group PhRMA (Merck is a member) released a statement in April 2023 arguing that the Inflation Reduction Act threatens patient access and complicates R&D efforts.…

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