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Government and pharma reach Medicare drugs deal

June 24, 2009 by  

Government and pharma reach Medicare drugs dealThe White House has announced a deal reached over the weekend with pharmaceutical companies that will lead to lower medication costs for the elderly and the disabled.

Senator Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, spearheaded the negotiations with Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), which resulted in the industry agreeing to spend $80 billion over the next decade to improve drug benefits for Medicare patients.

The key provision of the agreement is the 50 percent discount on branded drugs for patients who fall in the so called doughnut hole – the gap in coverage by Medicare part D after drug costs reach $2,700 but before they meet the threshold for catastrophic coverage.

President Obama has said that "[t]he agreement to lower prescription drug costs for seniors will be an important part of the [healthcare] legislation I expect to sign into law in October," suggesting the expected cost savings will lower the estimated $1 trillion price tag for the healthcare reform.

Meanwhile, pharmaceutical industry representatives have hailed the deal as a "win" given that the $80 billion is considerably less than the $130 billion originally sought by legislators as the negotiations began, according to Pharma Times.

Media reports suggest the deal could take effect in July 2010.
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  • s c

    Are ‘doughnut hole’ patients a majority or a minority? How important was it to make pharmaceutical reps happy? Is the $1 trillion reform “cost” high or low? If the pharma cartel is now willing to negotiate prices, why wasn’t it important many years ago? Did Senator Baucus represent the American people or Big Pharma? When the last pres was in the White House, this technique would have been called an
    obvious sell-out to Big Pharma. Is this any different? I thought only republicans were in bed with these people [gasp! do libs have the SAME problem?]. When
    ‘suggested,’ ‘expected’ and ‘estimated’ are key terms in negotiating a drug reform package, it won’t take a super computer to predict the result. BOHICA, folks!

    • Randy Holbrook

      The answer to the question about why big pharma is now willing to lower drug prices is simple. They realize that under this administration they will no longer have the research funds or profit to motivate them to continue to pursue new medications. Lets face the facts. Profit is what motivates a company to risk Billions in research in hopes of making a good return on their investment. The government and insurance companies have made it clear that they will not permit a company to make a good return on those investment risks by promoting generic medications and making brand available in very limited cases. We can be certain that new medications will be far fewer in the future. The real question is that good or bad. We have many “me too” medications out there which while providing options to the patient it is unclear that there is a large enough patient base to support them all once the patient rights run out. With fewer future choices those who can’t tolerate certain medications won’t have an option. It is clear that while medication is a great substitute for more costly invasive procedures it often is a lifetime expense where the invasive procedure may be a one time expense. This leads one to ask what was the goal of the donut hole in the first place? If you can’t afford the medication during the donut hole you won’t take it and then your back to square one with the problem. Who pays for the problem that creates. Lets face it the real issue here is that government and insurance interferance with medical treatment usually leads to nothing but problems.

      • Patricia Henson

        These big drug companies are a rip off to begin with. There are too many medications out there. Do you know that when a drug gets to thepoint where a generic is able to be produced that they tweak the same drug by one little molecule and then label it a new drug so that they can again call it a new drug at outragious prices. Or they will take anti-deprssants or anti-seizure drugs and call them fix-alls from headaches to fibrmyalgia or any other pain syndrome. It is outragious what these drug companies are getting away with. Some of those drugs have side-effects that are more dangerous than the condition being treated. Unfortunately most Americans don’t know enough about these drugs to make an informed decision.

        • Randy Holbrook

          There is a huge problem that has been created because of the requirement to disclose side effects to various medications. All medications have side effects that affect people in different ways. Today before dispensing a medication all possible effects must be disclosed. It is virtually impossible for the lay person to be able to put all these possible situations into perspective. As such many medications that a patient needs are refused because they are scared off by the list of potential side effects. In most cases those side effects are very unlikely and all of the side effects are not at all likely. In the rare case of a side effect that is not tolerable a good physician can make minor adjustments to overcome the problem. In most cases the risk is higher to not take the medication than the potential side effects. Yes there are exceptions but they are rare.
          In the case of generic medications many generics are fine. However, it has been very misleading to tell the consumer they are the same as the brand. Brand medications are held to a higher standard than generic medications in regards to efficacy. A brand name medication is required to have an efficacy of 98-102 percent. A generic medication has a much larger range which I believe but I can’t recall the exact numbers. I believe the range is 89 to 110 percent.

        • richard ludwig

          the people running the drug comanies should all be taken out and shot by firing squad for the crap they pull and their high prices.

        • Patricia Henson

          While it is true that every possible side effect has to be listed and most side effects don’t happen but to a small amount of the public, It is also true that the medicines they use to treat every thing from headaches to other band-aid diagnoses like fibrmyalgia are in actuality anti-depressants and anti seizure medications. In 1992 I had to have brain surgery that left me with seizures fot 2 yrs. The Drs. put meon anti-seizure medications that absolutely turned me into a moron who couldn’t even remember my own name. After awhile during my lucid periods I figured out what was causing my mental problems and weaned myself off of the medicines and turned back into a sane person again. Now they are using these same meds to treat everything they can get away with. They then use meds like Cymbalta for everything they don’t know what to treat. What about meds like Toradol? It is just a few molecules from Ibuprophen,but when it came out they couldcharge a brand new price for it. Even meds like Hydrocodone that’s been around forever they change the amount of Tylenol in it from 500mgs to 325 and they charge you double fori because it’s a new formula. Rediculous! Shame on you!

        • John

          Drug companies spend enormous amounts of money advertising drugs on television in an effort to sway potential customers to ask their doctors to prescribe them. Trouble is the public is ill equipped to understand and evaluate drugs in the first place. The decision to prescribe a specific drug is overwhelmingly the doctor’s as he/she is the best educated and informed individual to deal with the patient.
          On the subject of drug prices, I notice my prescription medicines going up at least 25% and up to 33% in a year. This has been going on the last 2-3 years. Looks like the drug companies, mindful of impending socialized medicine are building themselves a price cushion so they won’t be too hurt when it does come. Thank you, Mr. Obama. Is this the change you promised? Mark me up as another senior who will soon have to choose between drugs and dog food.

    • http://HamburgconfirmedfoFoodandDrug susan Tenofsky

      Right on target!!!!

    • BigIron

      The following is my opinion.

      Medicare Part-D was a disaster for the American people created by the greedy drug companies and greedy politicians acting in concert to prevent negotiation of drug prices directly by Medicare or “drug price normalization” with the other industrialized countries (the preferable fix).

      “Drug price normalization” would be relatively easy. Sample the price of the same drugs sold in a list of the industrialized countries and weight it by the doses sold. This weighted average is what we would pay. One lawmaker from the US bought a drug at a German airport (and what do we know about airport prices?) for a fifth the price of the same drug in the USA. If the drug companies refuse to deal properly then we nullify their patents and produce their drug ourselves; we produce their drug not a generic.

      I don’t mind subsidizing drugs for 3rd word countries but last time I looked Germany and France were not yet 3rd world countries.

      • richard ludwig

        screw 3rd world countries – how about doing it for low-income people HERE??!!??!!??
        charity does and always did begin at home and to he*L with the rest of the world and what they say, think, and need

        • debra

          go to Wal-mart. They have generic drugs for $4.00. Generics are made after the patent runs out,usually 7-10years. I am on 16 different medications. I have lupus,chf,ra..I am so thankful to be alive and that the drug companies did yrs of research so drugs i need are safe. No I don`t like taking all these but no one does..but I am here to enjoy another day. DeBra

      • Yankee Lady

        · * although India has the highest the number of U.S. FDA-approved facilities (84) outside the U.S., no one knows how reliable the quality of Indian drugs really are. The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the global counterfeit and substandard drug trade is a $35-billion business, with little risk of prosecution.

        · * when consumers buy their drugs at Wal-Mart, the retailer uses that money to buy more products from India, in the same way they buy more clothing or toys from China. Once again, the U.S. takes what other countries make. Wal-Mart’s sourcing of drugs from foreign countries exacerbates our unprecedented foreign trade imbalance.

        Ironically, the same federal government that hassled senior citizens over importing small quantities of drugs from Canada, now seems content to allow Wal-Mart to import billions of dollars annually worth of Indian drugs to enhance the retailer’s bottom line. The Indian drug companies have found a generic drug niche to fill, and they are using their poorly-paid workforce and less than stringent regulatory requirements to satisfy America’s growing need for pills. Unlike clothing or toys—there is no label on the pill that says “made in India.”

        • richard ludwig

          2 of my generic seizure control drugs come from india. they work ok – but not as well as they could. kinda like 1/2 toushed manufacturing. medicare part d picked up the tab so i am not one to complain.

      • John

        I agree. I’d also like to see the drug reimportation bill passed so we could purchase medicines cheaper. Why should Americans subsidize a system that gives people in other countries lower prices for the same medicine. If the drug companies don’t like it, the Chinese, Indians, etc etc would only be too glad to take the business away from American companies. Enough with Capitalism! All it does is take money from the masses and redistribute it to robber barons. America is a house of cards resting on a foundation of greed. “Comes the revolution………………”.

        • BigIron

          Why not new American Drug Companies that make the SAME drugs (if the drug company doesn’t “play ball” then we “nationalize” their drugs) as well as other generic varieties.

          If we enact the FAIR TAX then drug manufacturing costs in this country will go down; this might encourage the old American Drug Companies to “play ball” (establish parity) or face real competition from the new American Drug Companies.

          I’d like to take India and China, etc. out of the equation both in drugs and other goods; the FAIR TAX could do a lot to further that end by encouraging manufacturing to stay in or return to this country.

          Re-importation should be legal provided sufficient paper trail is provided. It would be such a waste of money/time/energy to have to export the drug and then re-import the drug but if that’s the only way then we should do it.

  • Dave Parsons

    The basic fact remains: if drug companies cannot make profits, investors and researchers will concentrate elsewhere. Hiding this same fact is the well-known penchant for greed. Some measure of reasonable return must be permitted; otherwise our medical fortunes are going to be supported only by institutional (i.e. university) work towards more effective medication. End result might well be fewer new entities (drugs) with a higher price.
    I would like to believe that Mr. Obama has not gotten so used to having his ‘way’ that the drug companies and the government actually did agree, and that this wasn’t another case (ala GMC) of the government prevailing through accusation or threat.

    • http://donthaveone Mark

      I have a win win solution to this problem. Since America has such an illegal drug problem that we spend billions on fighting, why dont we really amp it up where we make a new law that when we know these guys are dealing drugs, the DEA just goes in and takes them and all those giant bags of money, then use this money to apply towards seniors drug costs, instead of half of it disappearing before the trial. We cant even control the illegal drug trade because of greed and corruption, so there is no way the government is going to control the legal drug trade. There is too much corruption with the drug companies, lawyers, hospitals, doctors and politicians to straighten it out. Everyone lives in this “me” generation and its not just our youth. Wherever you have large amounts of money, there always is greed and corruption, and until we get some morals this isnt going to stop. And the way we continually kick God out of everything in this country, I only see this kind of problem escalating.

      • richard ludwig

        i also have an idea – just legalize pot and have it prescribed as a pain killer for people who take chemo, etc(any condition which leaves them in excessive pain)
        or tax it and sell it like ciggies then people can get it otc.

        otc = (O)ver (T)he (C)ounter

        • Randy Holbrook

          You finally made a comment I can agree with. Many of our illegal drugs were legal up until the late 1800′s. Of course they along with alcohol were banned in the early 1900′s. The drugs did not make a comeback until the 1960′s like alcohol did in the 1930′s so they never got legal staus. I do believe that drugs taken without medical oversight is risky. However, we live in a free sociaty so why not give people the right to choose once they understand the risk and regulate the behaviors that are acceptable. In the process one can balance the budget by taxing the heck out of these over the counter opportunities.

        • richard ludwig

          randy, tough crap if you do not like my far right take on washington and politics. if you do not like it then you can go to h*ll

    • John

      Balderdash! American drug companies are driven by greed . Let the other countries of the world start and continue developing drugs at much lower cost!!!
      What makes us think that we know it all and people in other countries are stupid. This kind of big lie helps support many greed-driven companies here. Perhaps the best solution of all would be to nationalize the drug companies and set them to a no-profit business mode. What is more important in the long run; people or profits?

    • BigIron

      I don’t object to a fair profit; it’s what capitalism is based upon. what I object to is being charged much more for the same drug would cost if purchased in other developed nations. I think that we should come up with a list of what we consider to be other developed nations (such as France, Germany, Spain, England, etc.). Conduct studies of the average drug costs per dose for all countries and tell the drug companies that is, also, what we’ll pay per dose or we’ll nationalize their drugs, not just produce a generic equivalent.

      A manufacturer of a specific DRUG where there are either NO ALTERNATIVE drugs or only what are considered INFERIOR drugs has a MONOPOLY which is not governed by the laws of the market (i.e., competition) . Therefore, it could rightly be considered that such a drug and it’s manufacturer would fall under laws designed to protect the public from abusive monopolies.

  • MozyM

    Each time Obama runs his mouth off about health care or any other program, I freeze with terror! I don’t want the government involved in my choice of doctors or personal healthcare. Is this Obama’s plan to knock off the elderly, sick and disabled? I believe it is.

    • http://HamburgconfirmedfoFoodandDrug susan Tenofsky

      Me neither…hopefully Americans will start thinking rather than being sweet talked into Obama’s disastrous endeavors.

      • richard ludwig

        what comes out of obamas mouth has much in common with a pile of fresh cow/horse/pig(your choice) manure. most americans are so very stupid and lazy that they want the govt to take care of them and not do a thing for themselves.

        • richard ludwig

          by the way …. he has much in common with a bowel movement in his color – only difference is obama walks and talks and the poop comes out both his ass and his mouth :D.

      • richard ludwig

        when it comes to our leaders – and anyone in general – i go by DTA
        (D)on’t
        (T)rust
        (A)nybody.

        i may not find love – but i feel ill live longer that way – and you cannot screw yourself over if you do not have a lover. and the person you sleep with is the most likely to screw you over one way or another. a person SHOULD NOT completely trust their mates – not one bit.

    • debra

      Mozy..you are right. The plan is to wipe out elderly sick and those who need 24hr care. But once he gets rid of us..remember we paid our taxes our whole life..he hasnt figured out the 40% that will not work to pay taxes will reguire health care because they run the streets and shoot each other. This is purpose of his plan. the punks and gang members now cost us tax payers billions. I dont know why we save them in the hosp. They are parasites.

      • richard ludwig

        as far as i am concerned – the gang members should all be put in a football stadium and left to go ahead and kill each other. better yet – sell tickets to the spectacle – kinda like the romans going to see gladiators kill lions.

    • richard ludwig

      i agree. obama is so full of manure that it is not funny. i think the people who elected him are as stupid as he is(along with the rest of our leaders.). i repeat – yes oh yes – it is their plan to knock off the disabled and the up in years. i would not put it past that nigga bastard

    • John

      Watch Michael Moore’s movie ‘Sicko’

    • Smilee

      MozyM on June 26th, 2009 at 9:34 am:

      Each time Obama runs his mouth off about health care or any other program, I freeze with terror! I don’t want the government involved in my choice of doctors or personal healthcare. Is this Obama’s plan to knock off the elderly, sick and disabled? I believe it is.

      MozyM

      I believe your beliefs are all wrong! I am on Medicare + a medigap plan I pay for , and Medicare, B and D that I also pay for (less than $300.00 per month currently). This is a government plan and medigap is a private plan regulated by law and I can see any doctor without copays of any kind. My only costs are the premiums, dental and prescriptions. Before I retired and went on this plan I had very limited choice of doctor, had deductibles and copays and a much more limited coverage that sometimes needed their approval. By law medicare and the medigap plan cannot deny coverage for existing conditions or manage your care thus the reason for the 8% overhead to administer the program. I have far superior medical care now than what I received from my employer before being eligible for medicare. In 2003 the republicans voted in what they called the “Advantage Plans” which is similar and in some case worse that the plan I had from my employer and the cost to the government increased 13% on average for the 7 million people who now use these plans, they do not have as much coverage or patient protections that the original Medicare coupled with a medigap plan offers. Obama or anyone else has not said anything about changing any of this with the exception that the advantage plans put in place in 2003 either be eliminated or paid for in the same manner as regular Medicare. I have found in my research since I retired that Medicare coupled with a medigap plan is the most superior plan from the patients perspective available today. This plan has been in effect since the sixties and has a proven track record from the patients perspective and needs some revisions to keep up with the costs and to keep the plan from going bankrupt which is very doable if the political will is there. My uncle went on Medicare coupled with a Medigap “F” plan In 1975, he passed away in 2004 at age 94 and except for his premiums he did not pay anything except his prescriptions and dental in this 29 year span. He thought this was terrific health coverage. If you think that the plans available in HMO, managed care plans and now insurance companies are giving now you allows for your choice of treatment plans and choice of doctors you do not know what is currently going on as they often do this and we hear repeatedly people claims being denied for many reasons including pre existing conditions and many times this is not the case. The current government plans today do not do this and why is it that we have almost double the amount charged for medical care in this country compared to most other countries and are number 37th in successful out comes. You have a right to be terrified but the private run systems of today are a complete failure and terrify me much more than the Medicare plan with a 40+ year history of success. I can go to the Mayo or Cleavland Clinics, the worlds finest, how most of today’s private plans do not allow that. Can you on your plan go there?? There is no way Obama would do what you fear, he has not said so and would be committing political suicide if he tries and especially if he succeeded. I do not know of anyone who thinks that the health care in this country is in good shape and is sustainable as is. Reform is the only way to correct the this. Those of us who are senior citizens very well remember when medical costs and insurances were affordable without controls and one could get medical care without insurance and still find a way to pay for it. My parents had no insurance until they were 65 and went on Medicare. My mother had major surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochaester MN at age 36 and was in the hospital there for a month. Dad borrowed the money from his local bank and finished paying it off in six years time. You see we at one time knew how to have affordable health care and after HMO and Managed care plans and large corporation take overs this all changed. They have proven to me that they are incapable of providing health care at a rate all can afford and the government plans have albeit the costs of health care driven up by our current private system has put a lot of pressure on the Medicare system placing it in jeopardy as well. We all, form all political persuasions need to support workable health care reform

      • richard ludwig

        listen to me turd for brains – the reason why i let the govt cover my medical costs is because i have no other choice. i am completely disabled with a seizure condition that to correct requires very risky brain surgery and i am not willing to take the risk. the reason why i do not trust the govt is because they have all been bought and paid for and once that happens they are all as useless as used spit. so shut your face and keep it shut and get out of mine.
        in other words – BITE ME BYTCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • JM Thomas

    It seems to be population control, doesn’t it? First the babies, and then the old people?

    But what does it matter – we won’t have to pay it! The govt. will. They are rich and can afford it ! They make more if they run out, but do they let us do that? Sure as long as they put us behind bars when we finish the job!

    Drug companies are taking advantage of us, though, and they are in a sales busines of getting the doctors to agree. I for one, am a victim of expensive (over $700 a month medical rip off. It nearly killed me, too!)

    How much is lower? Meds are way more than seniors can pay with lower monthly income!

    • http://donthaveone Mark

      Its greed, all greed. But if we ever go back a step and fall into Hillary health care, you very well may die before the doctor is able to see you. Can you imagine the lines? Look how long we have to wait now and this is paying for it. Imagine all the hypochondriacs and those who want out of work for the day. You sign up and wait your turn. I dont want it, no thank you.

      • BigIron

        The following is my opinion.

        My doctor hates the drug companies. I know pharmacists who hate the drug companies. They see the greed and deception of the drug companies and insurance companies firsthand.

        Drug prices are the highest in the US of any industrialized country. Why should the American people subsidize countries like France and Germany. We need to demand “drug price normalization” from our Congress. Of course, should they pass such a bill what will happen to those generous donations to their war chests made by those drug companies? If there is truth to the statement that “the US has the best politicians that money can buy” then the drug companies must own a lot of them … they can afford them.

        It’s a sad time when the American people can no longer afford to buy their own politicians so they will do what is right for the American people.

        • http://donthaveone Mark

          Our politicians sold us a long time ago for the allmighty dollar. Man cannot serve God and money, and the reason we keep on having more and more corruption in government, is that they kick God out more and more, and they seek money more and more. When our original government was set up, these guys sought God and his advise, and governed with the people in mind, what was good for all people. Now they govern with money in mind, how much they can get and from whom, and they dont care about the people. Thats why I agree that we boot incumbants in both parties out, and unless we see them do something to benefit the people not themselves, they get voted out next election, until they see that we the people mean business. It will take us people as a whole to put aside our party affiliations, and roost these crooks out of office starting this next election. Crooks like Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd should not be allowed to sit year after year taking dollar after dollar from special interest groups. Anti american crooks.

        • richard ludwig

          mark, i have an idea that is better than firing them all at the ballot box – because that is unreliable and people will just re-elect them all because their daddy voted democrat(or republican), etc etc etc. my idea is that we take our guns, crossbows, what ever you got, go to washington and OPEN FIRE on them. that is the ultimate idea of term limits and impeachment.

        • richard ludwig

          mark, i do not think that is extreme at all – not in the very least. to me – it is very much no nonsense and common sense.

      • richard ludwig

        speaking of hillary – can you just imagine all the vd living in her snatch from bill going to visit hookers?

  • http://DNA Buddy

    Although I take supplements, I avoid drugs because they are wholly artificial and often detrimental to one’s well being. Thus, this “drugs deal” seems to be a way that the drug companies are grasping to maintain market share as differentiated from making any concessions which will provide benefits to the public.

    • http://donthaveone Mark

      And if a lot of people would educate themselves about medicinal things, there are a lot of drugs people pay big bucks for, that the symptoms they have could be better treated by natural means. The Amish are big on this. There was a doctor here in Indiana that was healing people of things that they were on medicine for 20 years for, and the AMA got lawyers and shut him down, citing him for practicing medicine without a license, and all he was doing was prescribing natural herbs to people, and they did wonders for them that all this expensive medicine didnt. Have you ever listened to the commercials for all these new medicines it seems come out once a week now? Heck, the side effects are worse than the symptoms they are treating. Im 51 years old, and am glad to say I am medicine free. The last medicine I took was pain killers for a Knee surgery, and I threw them away after taking them twice, because the Ibuprofen worked better. Im not a nature boy or a naturalist as some are called, but I do know nature offers better solutions to most ailments than 90 percent of this high dollar greed medicine that the doctors and pharmacuetical companies want to sell you.

      • richard ludwig

        chare(typo) … meant to be charge

        • NORM

          Rich
          Get it together.
          Sombody’s going to put a net over your head and cart you away.

          • richard ludwig

            no….i do not think so… i am just a patriot who loves his country BUT cannot stand and does not trust its govt…. i will gladly take a bullet for the usa defending it… but as for our leaders they are on their own – they can take their own bullet.

      • richard ludwig

        mark, i am epileptic(i have a seizure condition) and to keep me seizure condition stable(mostly) i NEED to take medicines that came from a drug company because no herbal remedy exists for my problem. if it was not for medicare a+b+d i would be in very deep crap because the health insurance companies are just as much(if not more) to blame because they consider me to be UNinsurable because of the epilepsy and would not touch me with a 25 mile pole. and the employer liability insurance companies(which protect the employers from lawsuits from accidents on the job) are even more to blame because the condition i have is such a high risk that they tell the employers to not hire me. the execs of all the health and liability insurance companies should all be taken out back and shot with a firing squad and replaced with people who are disabled or have pre-existing conditions then the compaines would be forced to cover the disabled and pre-existing conditions, and not fuck them over with premiums that are at least 10x(slight rough guess) higher than normal and chare premiums that are about the same as a person without a disability or pre-existing condition would get charged.

        • Smilee

          Isn’t it interesting how you badger the government and how you do not trust them in other posts and now you are on the government plans, Medicare a+b+d and praising them and are bashing the private plans because they will not cover you and the government plans will. Seem you do trust your government or are a least willing to let them pay for your health care needs. Reform by your government weather you trust them or not is the only method available to correct our health care system. We should all support this.

        • richard ludwig

          Smilee, you are such an a$$h0le – i am only on them because i have no other choice for heath insurance. just shut your fuked up face and keep it shut.

  • NC NONNA

    Do you know if the drug Plavix will be available in generic form? Also plavix can be purchased from India for 99.00/3mos. versus 175.00per month in US, I have been hesitant to try the product from India, but the cost is so much less, and it is hard to afford 175.00/mo on a fixed income… could you please answer this for me?

    • richard ludwig

      i would be a whole lot paranoid about buying prescription drugs from india because it is just as likely they are counterfeits or are just made of milk starch(or milk sugar) and none of the real active ingredents of the real plavix

    • debra

      NC Nonna..think about buying drugs India long and hard. They are a 3rd world country. Many parts do not even have running water or waste water systems. Would you drink the water there? Then why in the world would you take drugs from that filty place?

      • NC Nonna

        Thanks for the comments, I have no intention from ordering from India, I was simply curious if you had any experience or knowledge of their manufacture, or why the price difference, they are also much cheaper in canada also, seems it is just the USA that gets the price gouging.

        • debra

          Hey NC NONa…drugs are cheaper due to labor cost are less,no benefits.the buildings are most likely not up to code like here and most likely also ,they are in no way as clean like sterile and clean technique. The quality control is not a issue like here. Things we do have to pay for to make sure drugs have been manufactured in a clean matter. And ..no I don`t work for pharma co…I am an RN..in NC

        • richard ludwig

          i would have more confidence buying them out of canada or the EU(european union) for that matter because at least they have drug purity and sterile manufacture environment laws.

  • BigIron

    The following is my considered opinion.

    This bill is a sellout of the American people to the drug companies to the benefit of the politicians. It is just a continued “cop-out” by our “well paid” politicians to cater to the drug companies instead doing what is right and requiring drugs to be sold in the US for the same prices as in the other developed nation of the world. I don’t mind subsidizing the needs of third-world countries with our increased costs but I see not reason to further subsidize other industrialized countries with a subsidy paid for by the US citizenry. If the prices of drugs is normalized with the other industrialized countries them we’ll ALL benefit to a much greater extent than the meager pittance granted to a limited few to support the disastrous Medicare Part-D fiasco.

    Tell the politicians and drug companies to keep their hands out of our pockets and demand that the politicians enact legislation that protects us all from such heinous abuse by by the drug companies by limiting the amount charged to US citizens to the same amount charged to other industrialized nations for the same drugs. If the drug companies refuse to do so then we should nullify their patents and produce our own generic version of their drugs and offer them for sale abroad.

    What’s fair is fair and we are being unfairly dealt with by the drug companies … and our politicians.

    This bill is unacceptable. I’d wondered why I had not heard of drug-cost control in the proposal to control medical cost increases and now I know why …. our politicians where trying to pull another Medicare Part-D to protect the contributions to their war-chests by the drug companies. That is why Medicare Part-D was concocted in the first place … it was no altruistic desire on the part of the drug companies or politicians … it was their fear of drug price controls and medicare drug price negotiations that sent them scrambling to foist a bad bill on the American public.

    Obama’s support of this bill must show how little he thinks of the intelligence of the American people … and how little he really cares for them. The drug companies are one of the biggest drains on the health-care system and the taxpayer’s pocketbook. The attacks on the medical insurance companies, though with some justification, were apparently just a cover to get this “drug company protection” bill enacted into law.

    Tell your Congress Critters that this bill is totally unacceptable … and DEMAND “drug price normalization” with the rest of the industrialized world!

  • LAConfidential

    so, let me get this right.

    The $80 billion that PhRMA is supposed to spend over the next decade was provided by Mr. Obama (at the expense of U.S. Taxpayers) so that medicaid costs could be lowered? I would love to wait for my own $80 Billion subsidy, but since I didn’t contribute to the Usurper-In-Chief’s election campaign – I guess I shouldn’t expect it.

    Am I a group of only a small amount of people that can see connections like these as crazy? Why is it that the majority of the people seem to fall for this crap and lap it up like a hungry dog?

    • BigIron

      The below is my opinion.

      Obama doesn’t want to solve a problem he want’s to create one. He’s trying to create a government so big, complex, interwoven, and expensive that it will be impossible to dismantle and no one can possibly know how it really works. His ultimate goal is to make all of us (the People) so poor and dependent upon the government that we have no other choice but to accept rule by the government. His goal is to make the People into the slaves of the government, not into Free men.

      The politicians do not serve the People they serve themselves and their masters. Their masters should, by right, be the People but it appears the politicians have run amuck and now serve others with far more fervor than they served the People.

      • John E.

        Yet when President GW Bush was President and 80 % of the GOP wasunning our Government Left us in more Debt than HOOVER and FDR combined. Plus He President GW Bush was a totalitarain or soviegn to his policy and treated every one as such even members of his own party. THE US Government Had surplus of monetary funding from January 2000 until October 2001 Hints 09 -11 disaster and Huricanes Katrina let alone Rita. in 2005 .Yet we’ve been in Recession from August 2001 until September 2004 yet Another Recession or Depression came in imbliss November- October 2007 which wil not improve until Spring of 2011or as early as late Winter
        2010 .

        • aqua lung

          Hate to pop your bubble sonny, but Barrack Hussein Obama during the first five months, has put the country farther in debt than the first 43 presidents combined. So before you go blaming the whole economic situation on GW, who doubled the GDP and had one of the lowest average unemployment rates in history, you might want to ponder the depth of that fact.

      • debra

        Hey Big Iron…correction….his plan is to make us WHITE people his slaves !! Now that I think about we already are! After all we white folks are the ones that go to work every day so that we can give 45% of our earnings to keep up his kin folks so they can lay around,have babies,collect welfare and food stamps,and section 8 housing. The boys that get these girls pregnant gets to live off all the welfare money too. It is a way of life for those people. I am sick of it. I am researching now for another country to live in.

        • richard ludwig

          just pick one in which it is legal to pick off the leaders when they screw up really big… might follow you there.

        • richard ludwig

          not just white people – ALL people who are not eliteist bumholes currently in elected office in washington. will will ALL be slaves.
          i plan to kill myself before it happens and to screw them out of making a slave out of me – and maybe taking some with me while at it.
          i do not trust washington as long as they are still alive and breathing.

        • richard ludwig

          / correction /
          not just white people – ALL people who are not eliteist bumholes currently in elected office in washington. we will ALL be slaves.
          i plan to kill myself before it happens and to screw them out of making a slave out of me – and maybe taking some with me while at it.
          i do not trust washington as long as they are still alive and breathing.
          / correction /

        • John E.

          Sorry Debra
          If you are one of the unemployed or underemoployed you would think twice You have live on something these days with gas prices climbingand food prices are going also I ‘m lucky man I can get my food at the local Commissary Since I’m aretired US Navy reservist. However I tried to work partially part -time that is only 12 hours every two week maximun I was lucky sometimes allow to work less than 1hour every two weeks Yet I’m on service Connected disability Pensionfrom Veteran Affairs they are punishing me For working by taking All earnings away for this year And last Year(2008 ) I don’t intend to go welfare but the Government Stinks I this policy is pursued It ‘s the same for these young people They are shortage of Engineers Sciencfitic engineersThese young people can go back to school It still takes Govenment money to send them back I served my Country 26 Years all I do is get pushed around . Government is just not pushing white folks All races face this dilemma and our right to work partially part It is better than nothing I intend to work full time, as soon as I get my certification.. I am also lucky I have VA healthcare.Which all my prescriptions are paid for.

  • ML Ross

    I get more confused every day…and if I’M confused…I’m sure there are thousands more just like me! I have Scleroderma with Raynaud’s Phenom and Pulmonary Hypertension. The med prescribed for the
    treatment on some of this costs over $1200.00/month…Yep! $1200.00 a mo. I was able to get the med ONE MONTH on my plan “D” before the ‘donut hole’ came into conversation. If I would have understood things better, I wouldn’t have even taken one month’s worth and used up the rest of my $2700 allowance. ( I think the pharmacist could have schooled a little bit on this, but didn’t.)Now what? I’m a nurse on disability…not much income, no savings to speak of…where should I try to come up with the money for this Rx?
    Any time it costs $50.00 a pill, something is wrong! We’ve tried talking to several charitable organizations about help, but this is ALOT of money to ask for. It means the difference between being able to breathe enough to take care of things, or lounge around doing nothing….and that is NO LIFE! When my husband called the insurance company that handles our supplement policy, he was told…
    they charge Medicare $1585.00. Pretty good profit there, I would say.
    I predict a year from now, the general populous is going to all at once
    startle awake and realize we have a ruling party that has been taking our country for a big ride….and there will be a big surge of trying to find a way to remove a bunch of people from office.

    • richard ludwig

      that is what guns, firearms, crossbows, and bow/arrows are for.

    • richard ludwig

      my 2 meds only cost medicare part d $50/mo and i am no place close to the doughnut hole yet.

  • John E.

    Not All Disabled Americans are Social Security Disability I myself is A “service connected disability Veteran” . I am not entitled to the priveleges of Medicare or medicaid. I am sole into one Health care provider which the Veterans Affairs is limited to it’s policy making Example I was on cestor Before I was being qualified to be service Connected Disabled. It was heaven sent medication plus I felt more energic I will state this to my VA health care provider. I do not believe it is in VA health care system It is claimed to cause Heart palutations This is number one reason VA doesn’t want to use However Veterans Affairs is accepting atlerative methods such as herbal supplements and vitimans I truely believe that theses types of Altertative methods ought to be sought with FOOD &DRUG Some doctor’s And health care providers call a Food supplement Some call these Vitiman & Herbal supplements as a drug.Another thing yoga is a great excerise for anyone who is physically Able to do I ‘ve learned about this from A register Nurse who gave sessions on this while I was being hospitalize back in April 2009.

    • richard ludwig

      the usa military did not want be because of my seizure condition and they would want me off of my meds for at least 5 years and i just cannot do that. i need the meds to remain stable. i am age 40 now and i applied for military service as soon as i got out of high school in 1987. if the military took me – i would choose to go to iraq so i can maybe die and get relived of the need of taking the meds for the rest of my life, being unable to get a normal job and being a burden on society and family/friends.

      • richard ludwig

        be(typo)…should be me

  • joseph russell

    We receive pretty much free health care. It was a part of the retirement package. The money part of the referent package was fixed with no cola at about $600. per month. The other thing that was free was Phone service. That free service was taken away because our PUC allowed another phone company to control our State and now we are required to take a lesser phone service and pay tax on it.
    We live in fear that the National Health care plan will be put in place and our companies will then stop providing Heath care as we can get it elsewhere. If there were any charge whatsoever we could not afford the new National Health care. We are also afraid we would lose a choice of Doctors and Hospitals. We require a lot of care provided by or Chiropractors and want to be able to make our routine appointments to them also.

    • richard ludwig

      what i am afraid of is that people like me with pre-existing conditions would just be left to die w/o any way to get much less pay for treatment. same for those who are up in years, those with 1 leg, diabetics, etc. i would not put it past that treasonous n*er to just let us die.

    • Smilee

      Medicare is a national health care run by the government it pays for chiropractic and all preexisting conditions and has no restrictions on what doctors or hospitals you can see/use. I see a chiropractor every two weeks and Medicare and my medigap insurance pay for it at no cost to me. Medicare advantage plans may not, they vary from plan to plan and usually have a copay. No one is proposing a health care plan or regulations that restricts where you get your health care but most plans on the table now require insurance companies to accept you without concern of preexisting conditions. Medicare Medigap Insurance plans cannot deny you coverage if you take their coverage in the first six months of Medicare liability. There is a lot of talk going around about this but I find them just rumors witch cannot be verified. I think your fears are unfounded and will never occur. Medicare is over forty years old and have never restricted your doctor or hospital access or not paid coverage due to preexisting conditions. Reform now is a must we all should support.

  • Gen Vanasco

    A large number of us were hurt by the prescription drug program. We are forced to pay a monthly premium. For a few months – depending on your health, you have a co-pay for each drug. That seems to work out for a very short time for most of us. The reason is hidden from the majority of society. Prior to the prescription drug insurance, the cost of one of my brand-named drugs was 40.00. The same drug doubled the month I paid my first drug insurance premium. The same brand name drug now cost over $400.00. The drug insurance premium increases every year. I wish a 50% reduction would be enough. I support our President. I just pray this all works out. I see so many elderly go without drugs once they are in the donut-hole. Basically, we are paying money each month for a drug plan that is useless half the year. Especially now that drugs are increasing at a greedy and unreasonable rate.

    • richard ludwig

      i support the office of president – BUT – i do not support the man filling the office.

    • BigIron

      Part-D Medicare was a sell-out to the drug companies by our well paid-for politicians in order keep Medicare from negotiating directly with the drug companies where they would lose some of their unfair profit (theft). Many drug companies qualify as monopolies if they have a drug which is the best or only treatment for a condition. Part-D is a complete fraud. It is ridiculously complex; requires seniors to gamble with their health by trying to determine in advance what drugs they’ll need in the future,. There is a tremendous waste of time and money in just managing the system. Don’t even mention the “donut-hole”. The politicians who signed that bill should be taken out, horse-whipped, tarred and feathered, be ridden out of DC on a rail, and forbidden to ever return on pain of death. …. and that’s still too good for them!

      Drug companies should be forced to sell their drugs for the same average-per-dose as those drugs are sold for in other developed nations. The saving from such a requirement would lower medical insurance costs and drug cost significantly. This will lower medical costs.

      • aqua lung

        Your first sentence says it all. Exactly why would Medicare need to negotiate with the drug companies, if there wasn’t Medicare part D. Part D is actually really simple, in my opinion. You pay your premiums, go to the pharmacy, pay your copay, get your drugs, and go home. When you get in to the gap, when your total drug costs for the year reach $2,700, you fill out the forms offered by the Pharmaceutical companies, for Medicare part D patients, with your doctor. The pharmaceutical companies then send you your medications for free the rest of the year. However, you do usually have to spend around 3% of your annual income, out of pocket first. It is still fairly easy to find a plan that covers generics during the gap, but pretty much impossible to get brand name coverage during the gap. If your not smart enough to find a plan with the appropriate coverage, that is your own fault. I don’t particularly like begging from the drug companies, during the gap, but you do what you have to. Better them than the tax payer. My biggest concern with this negotiation by Obama’s people is, if the drug companies cut their prices in half, will they still offer their existing medicare part D, gap plans that they do now. If not, this is going to cost me and many other seniors, a bunch more money than we pay now. Money that we don’t have. As usual, with Obama, it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

        • richard ludwig

          but also keep in mind – that some medicines cost more than others.

  • http://personalliberty.com Teresa

    We maintain our personal liberty primarily by being responsible for our own health. Preventing illness is the best way to reduce pharmaceutical costs. I have also saved the government lots of $ by reducing unnecessary meds in my patients. Many times people are started on meds and never stopped when no longer needed or effective. This is usually due to too many specialists (another high and often unnecessary cost). Nurse Practitioners make great primary care providers as they are trained to treat the whole person and not just the disease. The nursing focus might seem rudimentary to the lay person but this is only a misunderstanding of the science that, often only in the background, has made medicine pallitable to the patient. Nurses, well trained, save $$$ and suffering. This is where we need to put our focus.

    • richard ludwig

      but as for me, i need to see a neurologist about 2-3x a year to help keep my epilepsy stable, and to get refill Rx’s as i need them. and to also counsel me cause he also doubles as head shrinker.

      • AllenJames

        I think he shrunk your head just a little more than was needed

        • richard ludwig

          f(u)ck you

  • NORM

    Drug companies spend billions of dollars targeting consumers through advertising. This means you often spend more money on prescription drugs.
    In 2005 pharmaceutical manufacturers spent more than $3 billion on direct-to-consumer TV, radio and print ads — that’s more than fast food and wireless companies spent in 2005.
    Pharmaceutical companies spend twice as much on marketing, advertising and administration as on research and development.

  • NORM

    The U. S. is the only advanced country that does not regulate drug costs in some way, and other countries spend only about half as much for the same drugs as Americans. Methods vary, but essentially governments in other countries take advantage of their bargaining power to negotiate prices. Still, drug companies do not sell at a loss in these countries.

    The pharmaceutical industry portrays itself as a model of American free enterprise, but it is anything but. Of the top ten companies in 2002, half are European. And while the industry is free to decide what drugs to develop and to price them as high as the traffic will bear, it is utterly dependent on government-funded research and government-granted monopolies in the form of patents and FDA­conferred exclusive marketing rights.

    The pharmaceutical industry has an iron grip on Congress and the White House. It has the largest lobby in Washington, with more lobbyists than elected representatives, and it contributes heavily to political campaigns. Over the past two decades, Congress has enacted a series of laws that practically ensure windfall profits to the pharmaceutical industry, at public expense. For example, the Medicare prescription drug benefit enacted in 2003 specifically prohibits Medicare from negotiating for lower drug prices.

    • richard ludwig

      in my humble opinion, once a politicial gets bought and paid for by lobbyists, both the politician and the lobbyist are only good for being used for target practice and not much more.

    • aqua lung

      That is funny. They just did negotiate for lower prices. Did you not read the article?

      • aqua lung

        Whoa! Wrong post I replied to. So sorry.

      • richard ludwig

        did you READ the DATES of the posts at all:

        richard ludwig Reply:
        June 29th, 2009 at 9:06 pm

        in my humble opinion, once a politicial gets bought and paid for by lobbyists, both the politician and the lobbyist are only good for being used for target practice and not much more.

        and the one on medicare part d + negotiating drug prices was dated TODAY???

        aqua lung Reply:
        July 3rd, 2009 at 4:43 am

        • aqua lung

          I wasn’t ever replying to YOU. Sorry but it is not always about you. I was replying to norm, and thought I had replied to you. However, I was correct,and HAD applied to Norm. If I am reading the posts it had to be posted before mine or I couldn’t have read it in the first place, moron.

    • aqua lung

      No! It was the right one after all.
      That is funny. They just did negotiate for lower prices. Did you not read the article?

  • richard ludwig

    obama is just like the rest of them – republican or democrat or independent – it makes no difference – they are ALL full of fking sit from the white house on down and are not to be believed. anyone who believes our leaders is stupider than them all from obama on down.

    • aqua lung

      Well put.

  • BigIron

    We haven’t had a Constitutional government in our Country since Abraham Lincoln first began federalizing it way back when.

    Maybe that’s why Obama loves Lincoln so much
    … Lincoln started what Obama intends to finish!

  • http://ted@bontri.com ted

    This recent deal between pharma and the administration is not in time to save the thousands of retirees who have been in the donut hole for a year or more. why do we need to wait for another year before it takes affect? All that does is allow the pharm companies to raise their prices again and again to plow monies into a bank or investment so they will have money in July of 2010…Ridiculous. Do it now.

    • aqua lung

      The donut hole, as the layman’s call it (better known as the GAP), reoccurs every year.

  • aqua lung

    It always amazes the hell out of me that so many people think they are experts, about such things as pharmaceuticals, when their life doesn’t depend on them. Out of the seven drugs I am prescribed, three are brand name drugs. Those three drugs come to $500/month. There are no generic replacements. Without them I am dead. I know from spending my life working in a medical related field, that these companies spend a fortune on research, and development. Then on top of this they spend another whopping amount on all the testing required to get FDA approval. Additional,and probably most expensively, they deal out an overwhelming amount in legal fees, in order to feed the greed of attorneys, in this sue happy society we live. Make it a bit harder for people to sue at the drop of a hat, and ALL medical prices would decline rapidly. By the way. Walmart only offers $4 generics that are on their list. There really isn’t that many drugs that they have on this list. None of mine are, including the four generics that I take.

    • richard ludwig

      and how some people think they are experts on life when everyones situation is different – like mine for example. i am age 40, epileptic, cannot get health insurance(private pay) because i have pre-existing conditions that would make it gawd awful expensive if i could get it. cannot get a normal job because liability insurance companies do not want employers to hire people with pre-existing conditions to get work because they would get hit with the bills if i had a seizure on the job. i HAVE TO BE on medicare part a+b+d because i cannot get insurance coverage any other way. IF i could i would.

      • richard ludwig

        by the way – only 1 of my generic anticonvulsants is on their list and the other is not(at wal-mart that is).

      • aqua lung

        I wish I had it so easy. Try reading what I posted. I don’t think you got it the first time. I don’t take my meds, that cost a hell of a lot more than yours, and I DIE! Dick Head

        • debra

          Hey agua lung….chill out a bit. No one means any harm and are just venting. No need to be so angry. Contribute and listen and learn. Does agua lung mean fluid on the lungs=CHF? DeBra

  • Norm

    aqua lung

    I believe the June 15, 2009 negotiaton was for part D medicare and certain disabled people. I haven’t seen the details, but it’s a step in the right direction.

    The drug cos. do spend a lot on R&D and testing, but much of it is tax funded. They also spend wasted billions on advertising directly to the public.

    As far as lawsuits, these should be capped by government action.

  • Antonio

    Thank you for another good post. Where else would anybody get that kind of info in such a easy to understand way of presentation.

  • http://December11,2009 Mike

    I agree with Norm about the Medicare Prescription drug benefit 2003.We all know that our ELECTED in Washington D.C. could care less about the Voters that put them in office. My wife has fallen into the DOUGHNUT HOLE and she has to have 7 Prescriptios of which to are BRAND NAME Drugs and there is no GENERIC AVAILABLE in this COUNTRY. WHO started the MEDIGAP in the frist place? I went to pickup a 90 day supply of SPRIVA HandiHaler two days aglo and I knew it wouldbe high cost but when it was brought to me to pay for it was $453.00 and I thought I was going to have a HEART ATTACK. Canada has the same Drug there and also there is available a GENERIC that cost1/4 hat cost in the U.S. Fortune Magazine has an ARTICLE on the PRESCRIPTION DRUG COST inthe U.S. That STATES OBAMA AND THE U.S.GOVERNMENT HAVE GIVEN THE PHARMCAL INDUSTRY IN THE U.S. A PROMISE THAT “”FOOD&DRUG ADMINISTRATION WILL “”NEVER ALLOW SOME GENERIC DRUGS FROM CANADA INTO THIS COUNTRY IN A LEGAL MANNER. So this tells the VOTER you do not cont for ANYTHING IN THIS COUNTRY BUT TO PUT US IN OFFICE AND ON “”VOTER”” WELFARE FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES,
    YOU THE VOTER DO NOT COUNT AT ALL. IT IS FIRE HOSE TIME IN WASHINGTON D.C. and it is LONG OVERDUE.

  • http://Gandia60@gmail.com Phil Uribe

    I simply found your blog, I book-marked it and i am reading the particular discussions. I witout a doubt enjoy it. Interesting topic in either case people look at this. I come by way of this point of view which see commentary as akin of listening.

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