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Drugs too high

Published December 15, 2012 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In "Medicare Part D keeps seniors healthy" (Opinion, Dec. 8), Jeanetta Williams gives good marks to Medicare Part D for ensuring that "seniors have access to the medications they need," but she has missed a very important cost-driver.

The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 specifically prohibited the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from negotiating drug prices on behalf of Medicare Part D plans. CMS is required to take the pharmaceutical company's price.

By contrast, the Department of Veterans Affairs is allowed to negotiate, and the result is significantly lower prescription prices. Repealing that prohibition would save the federal government significant amounts of money.

Kermit Heid

Salt Lake City