Friday, March 17, 2006

Pressure Grows On Congress On Drug Prices

There is ever growing trouble for Congress and the Bush Administration on the new Part D drug benefit under Medicare.

Just this week, the Senate adopted a sense of Congress resolution that endorsed one of the most worthwhile reforms, negotiation of lower prices betweeen the government and the drug companies. This would force these greedy companies to be more reasonable.

This, however, has yet to be written into law, and the drug lobby can expected to oppose it strenuously.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports the case of a cancer drug, nitrogen mustard, which on Feb. 3 was without warning increased in price from $77.50 to $538.01. The characters who did this should be pelted with fruit while standing in a bucket of wat along with Tribune CEO Dennis FitzSimons in downtown Los Angeles.

It's not swurprising that the drug manufacturers feel no sense of responsibility to the general public. And it's also not surprising that the Bush Administration seldom does its duty on drug prices.

The drug benefit has meant some relief for many people, but it is inefficient and many of the promised decreases are not forthcoming.

It's yet another reason why the Democrats may sweep the midterm elections. People are tired to government promises that are seldom fulfilled.

Make no mistake, pressure is growing on this key issue. We only see the edge of the iceburg. The Republicans are mistreating the American people.


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