Thursday :: Jul 1, 2004

Drug Prices Increase

by Mary

Republicans created a monster of a program to provide prescription drug cards to seniors. Clearly they were more worried about giving the drug companies a hand up than creating a program that worked for seniors. And let me tell ya, they did a fine job for those drug companies. They gave the drug companies enormous flexibility in how to manage the cards because they could drop or switch drugs or increase prices weekly which puts seniors in a bind since they are locked into a card for at least a year. The drug companies were protected by law(!!) from competitive bargaining and this law also made seniors importing drugs criminals thus closing off another option.

The Repubs did a great job for Big Pharm. So what is the story today? That the cost of drugs are skyrocketing!

Drug makers raised prescription prices by nearly triple the rate of inflation in the first three months of this year -- just before Medicare began its pharmacy discount card program -- negating much of the savings the government promised to seniors, according to an AARP survey released Wednesday.

Turns out that those discounts people are getting after selecting a card is offset by the increases in the drug costs since the law passed. And of course, the Bush administration thinks things are peachy keen, because seniors that got a card receive a discount compared to today's market price.

Isn't it nice that the big drug companies are doing so well under this program? Too bad the seniors that it was supposed to help are getting shafted. But a reasonable prescription drug program would have to be crafted by a government that thought that the business of helping people was one of the roles of the government. Instead we have a government that believes the business of government is to soak the people to help big business.

Mary :: 7:48 AM :: Comments (26) :: Digg It!