Rx DRUG COSTS: Newsweek Examines Pharmacy ‘Sticker Shock’
Addressing one of the hottest issues in this year's election, Newsweek unravels the "real story" behind "drugstore sticker shock" in a Sept. 25 special report on skyrocketing prescription drug costs and the ramifications on Medicare. The expose features several articles, including:
- " Why Drugs Cost So Much," by David Noonan: Citing increased prescription drug use, expensive research costs and pharmaceutical industry price hikes, Noonan explains the recent upsurge in drug costs and reveals how the drug industry has become one of the most profitable in the nation, with Americans spending $125 billion per year on pharmaceutical products;
- " Flo's Big-Dollar Backers," by Mark Hosenball: Hosenball investigates the controversial organization Citizens for Better Medicare and its advertising campaign to derail the White House's prescription drug benefit plan and the so-called "grass-roots" group's ties to the drug industry;
- " Give Seniors the Power to Choose," by Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R): Bush defends his prescription drug benefit plan, arguing that the proposal would "cover drugs without breaking the bank" and allow seniors to choose from several health plans;
- " Making Coverage Affordable for All," by Vice President Al Gore: Vowing to "use [America's] prosperity to help our seniors," Gore pledges to provide an "affordable" prescription drug benefit to all Medicare beneficiaries;
- " What Medicare Really Needs," by Jane Bryant Quinn: Unfurling the Medicare reform plans of both Gore and Bush, Bryant contends that a "touch of Gore" and a "touch of Bush" would help stabilize the program's future;
- "It's More Than a Drug Problem," by Robert Samuelson: Samuelson tackles the issue of funding Medicare as baby boomers retire, warning that expanding the program may "force younger -- and often poorer -- workers to subsidize the wealthier elderly" (Newsweek, 9/25 issue).