Running Away from Part D: No Love for New Rx Benefit on Campaign Trail
This article was originally published in RPM Report
It's no surprise that the Democratic Presidential candidates are attacking Medicare Part D. But the really bad news for Big Pharma is that the Republicans don't have anything nice to say about it either. At least for now.
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Remember when the Democrats took over Congress and promised to do something about prescription drug prices under Part D? They didn't get very far, and they haven't been talking about it since. But when beneficiaries get ready to renew their Part D coverage in 2009-and see how much their costs are going up-there may be a lot more to talk about.
Should a Democrat take the White House next January, top pharmaceutical executives expect a serious push for health care reform. The prospect of a health care reform debate triggers the specter of a single-payor, government-run system with price controls. But Democrats are singing a surprisingly soothing tune.
United, Humana and especially WellCare are taking their licks in the run-up to the third year of the Medicare prescription drug program. That is just the latest warning sign for pharma and biotech companies that a critical market is entering a critical turning point.