Prescription drugs

Medicare patients may soon pay less for prescription drugs – FOX13 News Memphis

WATCH: Bipartisan agreement reached on proposal to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices WATCH: Bipartisan agreement reached on proposal to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — At 84, Marcia Dunlap depends on Medicare and private insurance to get the medications she needs.

“I have type 1 diabetes and getting insulin is very expensive,” she told FOX13 after picking up her prescription at a Midtown Walgreens.

The long-time diabetic said the price of the insulin she needed to survive had skyrocketed.

According to the Health Policy Institute, nearly two-thirds of Americans rely on prescription drugs to survive. Additionally, Americans are spending ten times more on prescription drugs than they did 30 years ago, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

On Wednesday night, Democrats reached a deal with U.S. Senate Republicans that could lower prescription drug prices. The proposal will allow Medicare to negotiate prescription prices with drug companies.

READ MORE: Manchin and Schumer in surprise health, energy and tax deal

“When it comes to the cost of living and the expenses families face, many of these families had to choose between their money or their lives,” said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Chicago). “(They need) to buy drugs that doctors have told them are essential for their survival.”

Republicans believed the proposal would only interfere with a free market.

“Democrats in Washington are working right now to find ways to put more bureaucracy between American patients and the treatments that are allowed to them,” argued Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).

“Senator Hagerty does not believe in giving government more control over drugs and the personal medical decisions of Americans and crushing vital pharmaceutical innovation in the process,” a spokeswoman for U.S. Senator Bill Hagerty wrote. (R-Tennessee). “This is yet another power grab by the Democrats in Washington that is mistakenly viewed as beneficial to the American people.”

However, Dunlap has applauded the legislation, which she hopes will make her insulin cheaper.

“Ten years ago, insulin was affordable,” Dunlap said. “About – maybe five years ago, it became incredibly unaffordable.”

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Joan J. Dean

The author Joan J. Dean