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Lowering Rx Prices Top Priority for Medicare Rights

Photo credit: The Atlantic

Every day on the National Consumer Helpline, Medicare Rights hears from older adults and people with disabilities who are struggling to cover their drug costs. As the population ages and drug prices continue to rise, Medicare Rights is concerned an ever-growing number of benefi ciaries will face affordability challenges. Accordingly, lowering prescription drug prices while protecting benefi ciary access to care continues to be a top priority for the organization.

Medicare Rights is encouraged by recent and growing recognition among policymakers about the need to address this issue. Both chambers of Congress are working on bipartisan legislative solutions, including ways to improve pricing transparency, reduce anti-competitive behaviors, and expand access to lower-cost generics. At the same time, the Administration has unveiled an array of regulatory proposals. Though some are more promising than others, all are a step in the direction of meaningful reform.

Medicare Rights supports many of these incremental policies as well as more sweeping approaches that lawmakers may consider later this year, such as allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, better aligning payment incentives, and preventing industry gaming. Medicare Rights also continues to press for long overdue changes to the current system—including modernizing the Part D appeals process,
easing eligibility for Medicare’s low-income assistance programs, and capping benefi ciary out-of-pocket drug spending—alongside or in advance of any systemic reforms.

Looking ahead, Medicare Rights will continue to work with stakeholders and policymakers to improve the nation’s drug pricing system in ways that prioritize benefi ciary health and economic security. Together, we can make Medicare an even stronger program.

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