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Highlights & Sidelights From House Medicare Rx Benefit Debate

Executive Summary

For future debate: Pharmaceutical pricing, pharmacy issues and prescription drug savings accounts are topics likely to be taken up by House members following passage of the "Medicare Modernization and Prescription Drug Act of 2002" (HR 4954). Rep. Doug Bereuter (R-Neb.) remarked that "after extensive consultation, House leadership has promised a vote" on pricing issues. "One such vote could be on an implementable drug reimportation program of FDA-approved drugs for individual, wholesale or retail sales." HR 4954 sponsor Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) noted that "there are still some concerns" from retail pharmacy "that, as we move forward in Congress, we will address." Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) added: "I would like to, at some point in time, make in order an option for those that want to use a prescription drug savings account to have that option, and, hopefully, later this year we will get that"...

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