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Published on 22 June 2009

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US drug firms provide OAP discounts


A move by US president Barack Obama to overhaul the country’s healthcare system will see the elderly offered $80 billion (£48.5bn) in discounts on prescriptions, it has been revealed.

The savings for Medicare recipients offered by drug manufacturers are part of a $2.5 trillion (£1.52tn) shake-up of health provision in the US announced by President Obama.

He said the nation was at “a turning point” in efforts to change healthcare, explaining: “The agreement to lower prescription drug costs for seniors will be an important part of the legislation I expect to sign into law in October.”

The deal to extend discounts on prescription drugs to millions of seniors who are currently hit with heavy expenses was worked out between the drug firms and Democrat senator Max Baucus.

The Montana politician had been negotiating with numerous industry groups for weeks as he tried to draft legislation that met Obama’s goals.

Senator Baucus said drug companies would pay half of the cost of brand-name drugs for “seniors” in the so-called “doughnut hole” – a gap in coverage that is a feature of many of the plans providing prescription coverage under Medicare.

Copyright Press Association 2009


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