Thursday, January 11, 2007

Bush Administration Happy to Price Control Cardiac Devices, Not Pharmaceuticals

The Bush team published this statement in regard to negotiating prices with American pharmaceutical makers for Medicare drugs.

Government interference impedes competition, limits access to lifesaving drugs, reduces convenience for beneficiaries and ultimately increases costs to taxpayers, beneficiaries and all American citizens alike."

Republicans argue that individual insurance companies already negotiate lower prices on behalf of their customers, and that the Democratic approach was tantamount to calling for federal price controls.

If they truly believe this, a large log sits in their eye on cardiac devices. Medicare set prices on pacemakers, implantable cardiac defibrillators, and blood products. The notorious price gouging Red Cross reacted to the proposed cuts for a unit of red blood cells.

"We were shocked when we saw the payment rates," said Christopher Mancill, director of reimbursement policy at the American Red Cross.

So Bush can cut prices for numerous medical products and services, but scoffs at Congress for wanting to do the same with pharmaceuticals? When in doubt follow the money trail. The pharmaceutical industry donated $22 million to Republicans the last 2 election cycles…

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