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Question of the Week: Prescription Drugs


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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.

For more information on my positions on health care issues, please see my Health Care issues page.

For previous Questions of the Week chronologically and by topic, please see my Questions of the Week page.

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