Stabenow to Lead Mich. Seniors on Prescription Drug Buying Trip
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), who is coordinating Senate Democrats' legislative efforts on prescription drug costs, on Monday will lead a group of Michigan seniors on a bus trip to Canada to purchase cheaper medications, the Detroit News reports. Stabenow said, "This is not about getting seniors on a bus to Canada. They shouldn't have to do that. This is about seniors being able to afford prescription drugs. This is about opening borders so our seniors can afford" medications. In Canada, some prescription drugs cost up to 70% less than they do in the United States, the News reports (Taylor, Detroit News, 6/7). Senate Democrats -- who maintain that for a Medicare drug benefit to be economically viable, Congress first must reduce drug prices -- have unveiled four measures to address medication prices. Those measures include allowing U.S.-made drugs to be reimported from Canada; making it easier for generic drugs to enter the market; limiting the tax deductions drug makers can take for marketing costs; and allowing states to extend drug discounts they receive under their Medicaid programs to non-Medicaid beneficiaries (California Healthline, 5/17). Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-S.D.) and Ed Coyle, who heads the Alliance for Retired Americans, will join the Michigan seniors' trip to Canada. Trips also are being planned for seniors in other states (Detroit News, 6/7).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.