January 16, 2013
The Honorable Amy Klobuchar
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Klobuchar:
On behalf of the millions of members and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, I write to express our strong support for your Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2013.
This legislation would authorize the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate “discounts, rebates, and other price concessions” to lower the cost paid by Medicare to pharmaceutical manufacturers. Both seniors and taxpayers would benefit from eliminating the current prohibition on price negotiation.
As you are aware, the law establishing the Medicare Part D program explicitly bans the Medicare program from negotiating drug prices with manufacturers, placing this responsibility solely in the hands of private prescription drug plans. This policy denies the program the advantage of bulk purchasing, used by Medicaid and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to drive down the prices of medications. Your legislation will allow the Medicare Part D program to negotiate prices on behalf of all Part D beneficiaries, while preserving the private drug plans’ role in obtaining further savings through the negotiation of drug formularies. The VA employs a similar multi-stage negotiation process that achieves significant savings.
We look forward to working with you on this important legislation to reduce costs for taxpayers and substantially lowering the prices paid by Medicare Part D beneficiaries.
President & CEO