A Statement by Senator Mark Pryor
On Passage of the of Senate Medicare Prescription Drug Bill
While I have my doubts about this legislation, I will support this bipartisan effort with a determination to improve its provisions over the next several years.
To be certain, prescription drug prices are skyrocketing out of control. This bill acknowledges a dilemma, but does not address all of the problems. I believe that in the not too distant future, we will have to revisit this issue and address this legislation's shortcomings.
Though I was pleased the Senate adopted provisions to provide greater access to affordable generic drugs and that allow pharmacists to reimport FDA approved drugs from Canada; I was dismayed that this bill did not do more to provide Medicare recipients with greater protections against drug costs or better safeguards for low-income and rural beneficiaries.
Tonight, seniors have won a battle, but the war is not over. We should view passage of this bill as a first step toward providing a program that ensures they receive accessible and affordable prescription drugs.
I can not predict the outcome of a Senate-House conference on this legislation, but I will stand opposed to changes in this bill that jeopardize traditional Medicare and put at risk its 40 million participants.