Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Negotiating medicare drug prices

Currently the U.S. medicare program can't negotiate drug prices. This allows Canada to get drug prices half the price that Medicare pays for the same drugs.  Some government officials say that allowing medicare to negotiate drug prices would not save the government much money.  Others say that medicare could save billions of dollars by negotiating drug prices.  One source said that the US Government could save 2.1trillion dollars by negotiating drug prices.  The fact that many US citizens get drugs from Canada and other countries strongly suggests that US citizens pay much more for drugs when they buy them in the USA.  This issue of negotiating drug prices has received little notice since 2007.  Many sources suggest that the Obama administration has struck a deal with the drug companies. The drug companies agreed to pay fees in return for not having to negotiate prices with Medicare.  It is a shame that this deal was struck in relative secret fashion.  The taxpayers probably got the losing end of this deal.  However, we did get some concession from the drug companies, and some savings is better than no savings.

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