Article by Dena Bunis, AARP

“President Trump laid out a broad plan Friday that he says will lead to lower prescription drug prices for Americans. But the plan doesn’t include what AARP and other advocates say would go a long way toward achieving that goal: allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies.

“We will have tougher negotiation, more competition and much lower prices at the pharmacy counter and it will start to take effect very soon,” Trump said in the speech from the White House Rose Garden.

The negotiation Trump refers to is between individual Medicare Part D prescription drug plans – administered by private insurers – and drugmakers. His proposal does not include asking Congress to allow Medicare to negotiate with pharmaceutical firms.

With 60 million beneficiaries, Medicare is the single largest purchaser of prescription drugs in the United States. It is prohibited by law from negotiating prices with pharmaceutical firms.

“AARP is encouraged that the president is focusing attention on lowering prescription drug prices,” says Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer. “High-priced drugs hurt everyone, and seniors, who on average takes 4.5 medications a month, are particularly vulnerable.””

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