Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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AARP to Trump: Don’t Mess with Medicare & Let Us Import Lower Price Drugs

AARP to Trump: Don’t Mess with Medicare & Let Us Import Lower Price Drugs | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

In a letter to President-elect Donald J. Trump, AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins outlined AARP’s priorities for Americans 50 and older, calling for protection of Medicare and Social Security as well as access to affordable health care and prescription drugs.


“Throughout the [election] campaign, your statements on these important issues of health and financial security set you apart from many other candidates,” Jenkins told Trump in a letter released Tuesday. “Now, as you assume office, older Americans are looking to you to protect them from efforts to cut their benefits, increase their costs or otherwise harm the crucial programs they rely on.”


AARP members believe Medicare and Social Security should be strengthened for future generations, Jenkins wrote. “Unfortunately, some congressional leaders have discussed plans to fundamentally change the Medicare program and undermine the contract made with generations of Americans,” she wrote.


The letter cites congressional proposals to fundamentally change Medicare by creating a defined-contribution “premium-support” system, which would give recipients a fixed amount, in the form of vouchers, to buy private health insurance. Other proposals would raise the age of eligibility for Medicare from 65 to 67 and allow hospitals and providers to charge higher prices than Medicare.


“These proposals do little to actually lower the cost of health care,” Jenkins wrote. “They simply shift costs from Medicare onto individuals — many of whom cannot afford to pay more for their health care.”


To confront continued huge price spikes for prescription drugs, AARP backs proposals to give the secretary of Health and Human Services the authority to negotiate lower prices on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries. “In addition, we agree with you that we should reduce barriers to better pricing competition worldwide by allowing for the safe importation of lower priced drugs,” Jenkins told Trump.


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AARP Report: Trends in Retail Prices of Specialty Drugs

AARP Report: Trends in Retail Prices of Specialty Drugs | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

The latest Rx Price Watch report by Leigh Purvis and Dr. Stephen Schondelmeyer finds that retail prices for widely used generic prescription drugs declined, on average, between 2006 and 2013. In 2013, retail prices for 280 generic prescription drugs widely used by Medicare beneficiaries fell by an average of 4.0 percent. In contrast, the general inflation rate was 1.5 percent over the same period.

Specifically, the reports compare retail price changes with the rate of inflation. They also present differences in average price changes by manufacturer and by major therapeutic category. The sample of drugs studied was identified using 2006 data from a Medicare Part D plan provider, and changes in prices were measured using changes in the retail prices charged to consumers ages 50 and older enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans, as reported by the Thomson Reuters MarketScan® Research Databases.

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Related articles: 

“Prescription Spending - Especially for Specialty Drugs – Soars”: and “Drug Spending Surged 13% in 2014: Specialty Drugs Accounted for 32% of the Overall Spend”;

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