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Families USA
JUNE 2, 2004
11:16 PM
CONTACT: Families USA 
Daniela Colaiacovo (202) 628-3030
Medicare Drug Discount Card: New Analysis Shows That Discount Card Prices for Half of the Top 20 Brand-Name Drugs Are At Least 50 Percent More Expensive Than Prices Negotiated for Veterans

WASHINGTON - June 2 - The lowest prices seniors can get through the new Medicare drug discount cards are considerably higher than the prices of drugs negotiated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), according to new data released by Families USA, the national organization for health care consumers.

The Families USA data show that the lowest discount card price for Lipitor, the most-prescribed drug for seniors, is 59 percent higher than the VA price. The data also indicate that the lowest discount card prices for half of the top 20 brand-name drugs are at least 50 percent more expensive than prices negotiated for veterans. [See attached chart.]

"Instead of the drug discount cards, Congress and the President should have provided real price relief for America's seniors by enabling Medicare to bargain for lower prices, like the Department of Veterans Affairs successfully achieves for veterans," said Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA. "Other than political pressure from the drug lobby, there is no sensible reason why Congress and the President refused to take this far more effective step."


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