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Today, I received some encouraging news regarding prescription drugs from a biweekly electronic newsletter of the Medicare Rights Center, Vol. 12, No. 1: January 13, 2009.
"2. DASCHLE BACKS MEDICARE DRUG NEGOTIATIONS AT HEARING
Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, President-elect Barack Obama's choice to be secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), said he would want the authority to negotiate drug prices under Medicare's drug benefit and fix the drug benefit's coverage gap. Daschle spoke during his first confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee..." (Continued)
"3. PART D ENROLLESS TO PAY LOWER DRUG PRICES STARTING 2010
Starting January 1, 2010, people enrolled in Medicare Part D will pay less at the pharmacy for prescription drugs as a result of a new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulation that revises the definition of 'negotiated prices' under the Part D program. The revised definition, released by CMS on January 6, 2009, requires that Part D plans use the sale price negotiated with pharmacies in determining the cost of drugs for Part D enrollees..." (Continued)
Negotiated prescription drug prices by HHS is long overdue with no thanks to the Republican controlled Congress's passage of MMA 2003. Six years later is much too long for a "we'll fix it later" promise by those who supported a sick solution, MMA 2003.
"Negotiated prices" by the Pharmaceuticals with pharmacies were not always passed on to Medicare beneficiaries since some pharmacies pocketed the difference rather than helping the ultimate, medical consumer, the elderly and disadvantaged. It is one more example of price gouging of prescription drugs allowed by MMA 2003. It's about time for this fix with financial relief for the sick rather than for CEO's and stockholders.
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Thanks Duane, this is good to know.