Congress, Bush Should Grant States Authority to Form Rx Drug Purchasing Pools, Los Angeles Times Says
Noting that the lowest prescription drug prices have been "scored" through bulk purchasing programs such as those established in Canada and Australia, a Los Angeles Times editorial says that there is "good reason to welcome" two new multi-state drug purchasing initiatives -- one established by eight Northeastern states and one being planned by five mostly Southern states. But the editorial says that the success of the plans is still "uncertain" because they are based on similar programs in Vermont and Maine that are "under court challenge." To remove the "cloud of doubt," the editorial urges Congress to take "swift action," pointing to a measure being crafted by Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and James Jeffords (I-Vt.) that would "give states explicit authority to form such [purchasing] pools." Noting that the "prospects for costly Medicare prescription drug coverage are vanishing," the editorial says that "President Bush should work with, not against, Snowe and Jeffords to ensure that this economical, free-market drug entitlement becomes law." The editorial concludes, "During last year's presidential campaign, Bush promised that 'reforming regulatory barriers' to help states spend more efficiently on health care would be his first health reform goal. Bush can do exactly this by supporting the Snowe/Jeffords plan" (Los Angeles Times, 7/31).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.