The lobbying group PhRMA is warning of dire consequences if Medicare can negotiate drug prices according to Medpage Today, a popular website read by doctors and others involved in health care and health care decision making.
The USA has the highest drug prices in the world partly due to Medicare’s policy of not negotiating drug prices. The Medicare drug plan does not allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices at all. Conversely, the VA system does and they pay much lower prices than Medicare.
Instead of telling Americans they can buy their drugs from foreign online pharmacies, having our own insurer for seniors be able to do this can bring huge savings to many who are on a fixed income.
Television stations are likely to be hurt if drug companies often spend much more on prime-time commercials than on drug research. Most other countries either disallow this type of advertising on television or only allow it in magazines.
The time to act is now.
As a citizen, you should want the 3.5 trillion infrastructure bill to pass that includes provisions for Medicare to better cover seniors for dental and vision, while also reducing the cost of drugs.
The pharmaceutical lobby is in overdrive right now trying to block this provision. They are claiming it will reduce access and reduce the number of cures. The truth is, big pharma rarely cures anything and loves when your doctor gives you a never-ending prescription for a drug that is refilled monthly.
According to Medipage today, “Specifically, the industry is concerned about H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which would require the Department of HHS to negotiate prices for certain single-source, brand-name drugs that don’t have generic competition. The negotiated maximum price may not exceed 120% of the average price in five countries — Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the U.K. The negotiated prices must be offered under Medicare and may also be offered under private health insurance.”
These improvements will make Medicare which is already well-liked by Seniors even better. It also will improve the plan if and when more Americans are allowed to buy into Medicare as a public type option in the future which is likely as the current system of monopoly style insurance carriers negotiating with large healthcare systems that grew due to the predatory practices of insurances on doctors and small hospitals.
Tiered plans are one example of their predatory practices, which caused consolidation in New Jersey while making expensive hospital systems cheaper while making less expensive hospitals and small practices more expensive. We are all paying for this now through higher insurance premiums, copayments and deductibles.
Let your legislators know you want this to pass in the infrastructure bill being proposed now.