Could Symbicort and Farxiga users be getting a break on prices?


There’s still more to come from Inflation Reduction Act

In a lawsuit that could knock drugs like Symbicort and Farxiga off their high priced perch, a federal court in Delaware has sent AstraZeneca's lawyers home with a rejection slip after the drugmaker challenged the Medicare drug price negotiation provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act. 

AstraZeneca’s pitch to the court was that the provisions in that Act were contrary to its right to due process and that it had a rightful entitlement to sell its drugs to the government at prices other than those the government is willing to pay. 

The decision follows a ruling earlier this month in U.S. District Court that threw out a lawsuit against the Biden administration, filed by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and its allies that also tried to prevent Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices. 

Could this stop drugmakers from gouging consumers on prices?

New legislation allows Medicare to haggle over prices of expensive medications starting in 2026. Medicare’s game plan has been to focus on drugs with no generic competition and pick the most expensive ones first. 

AstraZeneca has its share of those types of medications. For example, GoodRx says that the AZ-branded version of Farxiga lists at $681.20 per 30-day, 10mg supply. Symbicort – AZ’s inhaler used for asthma and COPD rounds – lists for $515.

But, the one that costs consumers the most is the cancer drug, Tagrisso. The National Library of Medicine lists the price of that drug at $294.68 per 80 mg tablet, meaning that the annual cost of therapy would be $107,557 if patients remained on therapy for a full year.

Based on 2023 sales figures, those three AstraZeneca drugs – the company’s biggest sellers – bring in $11.6 billion in sales.

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