Drugmakers offer U.S. government $80 billion in Medicare discounts

June 20, 2009

(ChattahBox) — The pharmaceutical industry has offered up to $80 billion in prescription drug discounts to government programs like Medicare, according to unnamed White House officials.  The board of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America or PhRMA, on Friday reportedly voluntered a 10-year agreement which would affect those Medicare patients who reach a gap in their prescription drug coverage, the Washington Post first reported.

Medicare has a gap or “doughnut hole” in the current drug program that requires beneficiaries to pay the entire cost of prescriptions after initial coverage is exhausted but before catastrophic coverage begins. In the doughnut hole, patients must pay full price for medicines, after they have incurred a total of $2,200 in drug expenses, until reaching an outer limit of $5,100.

The proposed agreement would cut prices in half for the doughnut hole and also offer other discounts and rebates. Additionally, officials said the agreement would reduce anticipated payments to the drug industry under government-run health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.  giving President Obama key savings as he pushes to overhaul the $2.5 trillion U.S. healthcare system, and  help pay for legislation expanding health insurance to millions who now lack it.

The Post believes this voluntary move by the pharmaceutical industry may have been intended to forestall more severe cuts, as last week Obama called for extracting up to $100 billion in savings through legislation.


Comments

3 Responses to “Drugmakers offer U.S. government $80 billion in Medicare discounts”

  1. Drugmakers offer U.S. government $80 billion in Medicare discounts Adding Info on June 20th, 2009 4:15 pm

    […] on Friday reportedly voluntered a 10-year agreement which would affect those Medicare … Read Full Post: Drugmakers offer U.S. government billion in Medicare discounts Adding Related Info:Drug companies may narrow Medicare coverage gap – Kingsport Times-NewsOpel […]

  2. hsr0601 on June 20th, 2009 5:34 pm

    I suppose some common sense and cool head can solve this cost problem.
    As we know, the public option currently being discussed is modeled after Massachusetts Plan, under which about 97% of all Massachusetts residents are now covered.
    According to the approach of CBO, its rate of the uninsured in Massachusetts should be far greater than the present one at the moment.
    Moreover, in case the strong public option, medical IT, increased efforts in prevention, and a broader array of cost-saving plans and beyond add to the Massachusetts Plan, the cost containment does not matter at all. And most importantly, the promising stem cell research is making its way.
    To date, private insurers have coexisted profitably with Medicare and Medicaid for many years.
    Basically, healthy society leads to better productivity and better performance.

  3. Drugmakers offer U.S. government $80 billion in Medicare discounts | Health Insurance on June 20th, 2009 7:07 pm

    […] See more here:  Drugmakers offer U.S. government $80 billion in Medicare discounts […]

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