Big Pharma Wants Rollback On Prescription Drug Discounts

Big Pharma now wants Congress to roll back a recent budget deal provision that cut back high prescription drug costs. The deal promised  modest financial relief to millions of Medicare beneficiaries, including seniors..

The deal lowered prescription drug costs for seniors with Part D Medicare.

Medicare Part D enrollees have a $3,820 spending threshold. Once that limit is reached, a beneficiary pays 25% out of pocket- of costs for brand-name drugs and 37% of the cost for generics. This out of pocket extra cost continues until they reach the next threshold of $5100.00.

At this point, they enter the “catastrophic” category and pay no more than 5% of their drug costs for the rest of the year.

 

Big Pharma: What The Deal Was

Congress decreased the amount seniors paid out of pocket for their prescriptions. Before the deal Pharma companies paid 50% towards the cost of brand name drugs. Congress increased that to 70% in the new deal.

The higher discounts helps lower drug costs for seniors, reducing the amount they have to pay out of pocket to reach catastrophic coverage.

The pharmaceutical industry is now backtracking and seeks to overturn the agreement.

The pharmaceutical industry is now lobbying the lame duck session of Congress in an effort to break the deal.

Lawmakers have to pass a budget bill by Dec. 7 to prevent a partial shutdown of the federal government.

During the mid-terms election campaigns just concluded, the cost of prescription drugs –was cited as a key concern among those voters.

 

Stay tuned.

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