Who Is Fighting Lower Drug Costs For The Poor?


Needed drugs should always be affordable, regardless of the amount of profit pharmaceutical companies desire.  And for those who are being subsidized by government medical programs, prices still should be reasonable even if the patient him or herself isn’t responsible for the full amount.  The government explored a series of rebates from drug companies to help cover the skyrocketing prices of drugs, but those rebate could be coming to an end.

But Rep. Eric Cantor and his cronies would rather make sure that pharmaceutical companies are getting money back, even if it comes at the expense of poor seniors — an expense that would be shifted to the U.S. government.

Via Politico:

At its core, the proposal restores rebates paid by brand-name drugmakers for the “dual eligible” population  — those seniors eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. Depending on how it is written, the plan could return anywhere from return anywhere from $50 billion to $100 billion to federal coffers. Democrats describe this as a cost-saver and want to be able to say it fits their criteria of strengthening Medicare. But Republicans, particularly Cantor, call it a revenue raiser, which the party is leery of supporting.

Drugmakers have paid these types of rebates before. In 2006, however, the rebate program ended when low-income seniors were shifted out of Medicaid and into Medicare. While Medicare is prohibited from negotiating for lower prices, pharmaceutical companies nevertheless offer certain discounts for their wares. PhRMA President and Chief Executive John Castellani has said anything more would effectively be a “double whammy” for the industry.

Pharmaceutical companies have been known to take copious advantage of the poor as a cash cow when they know that the government will be the ones actually footing the bill. KV Pharmaceuticals made headlines earlier this year when they tried to gouge patients using a preterm labor drug that they bought exclusive rights to, upping the price from $10 a dose to $1500 a dose before the FDA had to step in and threaten to pull their ownership.

Related Stories:

Where Are The Drugs? Hospitals Face Shortages On Needed Medications
Is Your Pharmacy Selling You Out?

Photo credit: United States Congress


Vince P.
Vince p5 years ago

Ok this is for Cantor and all the Members of Congress, allow Medicare to work with Pharmaceutical companies to get a reduced cost. As most of you know other countries have laws or rules that the drug companies have to provide drugs at a low cost. This country is sort of behind on this THEY REALLY DON'T CARE THAT ITS CITIZENS PAY HIGH COSTS, so the drug companies recoup there "lost" (hahaha) revenue thru US drug sales at an inflated price.

Lets stop this stupid and costly practice, now.

Anne Ortiz Talvaz

I'm French. France has a comprehensive healthcare system, Social Security foots much of the bill. I spent a year in Brazil, where the system is similar to the US system. The cost of prescription meds there was twice the cost of meds in France despite the fact that per capita GDP is three and a half times higher in France than in Brazil. Rocket science it's not.

Rosemary Concato
Rosemary Concato6 years ago

Same crap different day....sick of all the morons
on this planet.
The world needs an enema...flush out the stupid:)

Sarah Solaban
Sarah Solaban6 years ago

And this was why my mom still ened up with a $700 pharmacy backbill when she died in 2006.

Ronald N.
Ronald N6 years ago

Cantor, if he gets his way will only allow drugs companies to have their way. It's remarkable how little affect the Obama administration has done, yet the choices are minimal. The control is in the politics and the lobbyists have a lot of power. Money talks. On the other hand while all this takes place we are seing Medicare and Medi-Cal being attacked by the same folks like Cantor. All this taking place at the lowest point in history within 70 years!

Grace Adams
Grace Adams6 years ago

Side effects are a worse problem than the price of the drugs.

Michael S.
Michael S.6 years ago

Hey Robin where were you when Obama completed the "back door deals" with the drug
companies to allow them to continue to charge seniors the higher drug cost in exchange for their support of Omama care??
So I would ask who is building the gas chambers, who are the cronies and of course really who is the pig???

Elisabeth M.
lis G6 years ago

Yes, pharmacuetical companies make big dollars out of peoples' painand suffering and regularly have doctors gaining kickbacks from them for prescribing medications that aren't necessarily the best option. But that's big business and free enterprise.

The idea of looking for ways to alleviate misery and pain for the greater good is dead. Look at the drug companies who are investing in treatments for malaria and TB? Who and where are they? There is no profit margin in such medical research because these diseases are in the developing (read, poor) world. For the well-off there are obesity medications and sexual activity medications and implants of one sort or another. And of course for infertility treatments. For the poor, the elderly, the sick or the uninsured .... well, you'll just have to pay for it or die.

Philip S.
Philip S6 years ago

Pharmaceutical companies spend $19 on marketing for every $1 of research. Their medication doesn't work anyway they just manipulate the research & numbers to get the results they want.

Joseph Belisle
Joseph Belisle6 years ago

Yes the hubris is palpable. You're you and your poor and deserve to be dictated to. I'm me, I'm rich and powerful and deserve to dictate to you. This is the mindset. It should be about egalitarianism but it isn't. It should be about democracy but it isn't. That's not how our country runs. If it was then Congress would be doing what we want. If it was then we'd have universal healthcare instead of decreasingly effective and increasingly expensive healthcare.