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US budget battle is likely to rekindle fight over drug price negotiations for Medicare prescriptions

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h567 (Published 30 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h567
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

In anticipation of President Barack Obama’s budget request next week for the fiscal year 2016, 400 drug companies, business organizations, patient advocacy groups, and other organizations have sent an open letter to Congress strongly opposing any proposal that might allow Medicare to negotiate prices for drugs covered under the Medicare prescription drug plan, Medicare Part D.

The effort was led by the Council for Affordable Health Coverage, a group based in Washington, DC, that advocates applying market solutions to expand access to healthcare and reduce costs.

Currently, drug companies are required to pay rebates for drugs that are dispensed to patients enrolled in Medicaid, the federal state run health insurance plan for low income and disabled people—but not for Medicare, the …

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