CMS Administrator Mark McClellan Discusses Medicare, Reimportation in Interview
WAMU's "The Diane Rehm Show," an NPR-syndicated program, on Tuesday included an interview with CMS Administrator Mark McClellan, who discussed the Medicare prescription drug discount card program, beneficiaries who receive both drug discounts and food stamp benefits, research into the safety of reimporting prescription drugs from other nations and the effect of reimportation on drug development. According to McClellan, the U.S. health care system is "more complicated than ever before" because of technological advances and problems with affordability and access to care, so CMS is "trying to make Medicare more personalized" by giving beneficiaries direct information through the 1-800-MEDICARE hotline, Web sites and counseling. McClellan said that he has been "very pleased" with increased bipartisan efforts since his confirmation as CMS administrator to give FDA increased authority and funding to consider the safety of reimported prescription drugs. In addition, Congress and states are "appropriately interested" in examining the "urgent problem" of lowering prescription drug costs and ways to "share the burden of drug costs more fairly around the world," McClellan said (Rehm, "The Diane Rehm Show," WAMU, 6/30). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.