Question: Will the new health care law increase the price of prescription drugs?
Answer: Yes, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). On November 4, 2010, the CBO released an analysis finding that:
* The expanded pharmaceutical price controls in the law will raise prices, because drugmakers must offset the costs of providing new discounts and rebates to Medicaid and some Medicare beneficiaries.
* CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation estimate that the new tax on drug companies will increase spending by Medicare and Medicaid and other government programs by about 1 percent.
On the other hand, the CBO found that the law's new approval process for generic biologics (pharmaceuticals made from living organisms rather than chemicals, i.e. a vaccine) would reduce prices of biologics by approximately 2 percent in nine years.
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