Wednesday, November 23, 2005
A congressional report says drug prices through the new Medicare benefit are higher than those negotiated for veterans, in Canada and high-volume drugstores.
A Medicare official challenged the House Government Reform Committee report, requested by ranking Democrat Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., as misleading and flawed, the Washington Post reported.
The report concludes 10 popular drugs through 10 well-known Medicare Part D insurance plans were an average 80 percent higher than prices negotiated for the Department of Veterans affairs, 60 percent more than in Canada and 3 percent higher than Costco or Drugstore.com.
The plan increases costs and "makes it doubtful that the complicated design of Medicare Part D provides any tangible benefit to anyone but drug manufacturers and insurers," the report concludes.
Medicare's Gary Karr called the report "selective and misleading."
"Now the effort should really be about educating people and not continuing the same old rhetoric that they have been saying for two years," Karr told the newspaper.