Monday, June 17, 2013

Kaine joins efforts to repeal ban on prescription price negotiation

Virginia's U. S. Senator Tim Kaine

Virginia’s U. S. Senator Tim Kaine

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine today signed onto the Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act – legislation that would end the ban on prescription drug price negotiations for the government’s largest health care program.

“Every corner pharmacy negotiates for prescription drug prices so it makes no sense that the federal government isn’t allowed to do the same,” said Kaine. “At a time when we continue to look at every line item of the budget for savings, this common sense measure should be adopted to make Medicare more efficient and low-cost without compromising care for Virginia seniors.”

Senate, Kaine pledged to join efforts to close this loophole in the Medicare program that served 50 million seniors across the country in 2012, including more than 1.2 million in Virginia. The Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act would allow Medicare to use the same price negotiation process that takes place in the Veterans Administration, in order to help lower the cost of prescription drugs for seniors.  Under this bill the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) would directly negotiate with drug companies to get the best possible prices for drugs purchased under the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.

Economist Dean Baker determined that the federal government and Medicare beneficiaries would save $600 billion between 2006 and 2013 if Medicare were allowed to directly offer a Part D benefit and to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that, on average, the Veterans Administration pays only about 42 percent of the Average Wholesale Price (AWP) – or the suggested list price – for brand-name drugs.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: National, Politics

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