Local News: Sen. Welch Commends Discussions on Drug Prices

Medicare’s Historic Step Towards Lower Drug Costs

Medicare’s Historic Step Towards Lower Drug Costs

Medicare Negotiates Prices for Prescription Drugs

Sen. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) commended the White House for taking a significant step towards addressing the issue of exorbitant drug prices. Medicare has sent its initial negotiation offers through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) for the first 10 prescription drugs. These drugs, selected in August, are subject to price negotiation. Pharmaceutical companies have until early March to respond to the offers or propose counteroffers.

Breaking the Exploitative Cycle

Welch stated, “The capacity for Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices is a major breakthrough for so many Vermonters who have been exploited by the exorbitant prices and greed of Big Pharma. It’s disgraceful.” He emphasized that this first bid by Medicare represents a historic first step towards lowering drug costs. The aim is to ensure that no one is forced to choose between essential prescriptions and basic needs like food. Welch added, “That’s why we’re in this fight.”

Treating Common Illnesses and Serious Conditions

The initial 10 drugs chosen for negotiation include medications for various common illnesses and serious conditions. These conditions range from blood cancers and blood clots to chronic kidney disease, coronary disease, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, heart failure, peripheral artery disease, psoriasis, psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis.

Medicare’s Long-Term Cost-Saving Program

The Medicare Drug Price negotiation program, an integral part of the Inflation Reduction Act, empowers Medicare to negotiate prices for up to 60 medications. The objective is to make life-saving drugs more affordable for patients. The legislation incorporates provisions from Welch and Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s bill, which aimed to end the ban on Medicare negotiating lower prescription drug prices for the 50 million seniors enrolled in Medicare. Welch introduced this bill during his tenure in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Read More of this Story at www.benningtonbanner.com – 2024-02-02 23:14:00

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