The Prescription Drug Wars

Can Minnesota rein in prescription costs?

Still, Hottinger insists that the proposed Minnesota program is legal. He notes that it doesn't include the controversial Medicaid provision; instead, it calls on the attorney general to investigate if drug companies fail to participate in the rebate program. The Senate majority leader is equally skeptical about concerns that the program would drive drug companies out of Minnesota or effectively freeze research. And don't even suggest to him that it should be left up to the federal government to reform prescription drug coverage.

"Legislators like me are fed up with the federal bickering about prescription drugs," he sighs. "I hope Minnesota joins with other states to push a national solution, so the federal government will respond." Only in that way, agrees the Senior Federation's Wyckoff, can we hope to arrive at policies that help not just low-income people and the uninsured, but everyone who buys prescription medications. "We need to set a trend and join the rest of the world that negotiates drug prices on behalf of its citizens," he urges. "The pharmaceutical industry will come out just fine economically."

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