Pharmaceutical companies RAPING the US Tax payer.
You will not hear about this story on Fox News. You will not hear about this story from your Republican friends on Facebook. The ones who complain all day long about the outrages of Welfare for poor people.
Hannity will not do any segments on this story and neither will Bill Oreilly.
This particular corporate welfare happens because of George W Bush and the Republicans.
When private insurance companies pay for prescription drugs that price is negotiated. When Medicare Part D pays for prescription drugs the price it NOT negotiated.
That was the Republicans gift to the Pharmaceutical companies. All the free tax payer money they could want. Name any price at all and it will be paid for. You're welcome.
As a result the prices keep going up and up and up and up and up and up and up........
You get to pay for all of it.
The government is running out of money......But not free Corporate Welfare for Pharmaceutical companies. That money is always ready to go.
Now get back to watching Fox news. I am sure they have an entire panel of experts complaining about poor people.
The cost of Medicare's "catastrophic" prescription coverage jumped by 85 percent in three years, from $27.7 billion in 2013 to $51.3 billion in 2015
Out of some 2,750 drugs covered by Medicare's Part D benefit, two pills for hepatitis C infection - Harvoni and Sovaldi - accounted for nearly $7.5 billion in catastrophic drug costs in 2015.
Lawmakers who created Part D in 2003 also hoped added protection would entice insurers to participate in the program. Medicare pays 80 percent of the cost of drugs above a catastrophic threshold that combines spending by the beneficiary and the insurer. That means taxpayers, not insurers, bear the exposure for the most expensive patients.
The FDA approved Sovaldi in Dec., 2013, and its $1,000-per-pill price quickly made headlines. A congressional investigation last year found that Gilead was focused on maximizing revenue, even as a company analysis showed that a lower price would allow more patients to be treated.
Gleevec, a breakthrough drug introduced in 2001 to treat leukemia, was ensconced as 5th among the top ten pricey medications, with more than $1 billion spent in 2015. That was a 54-percent increase from 2013. Drugmaker Novartis has been criticized for repeatedly hiking the price of Gleevec.
"If the numbers continue to increase like this each year, I worry about how much the taxpayers could afford," said Sen. Grassley, who plans to ask Medicare for explanations.
"It may be that some drug companies are taking advantage of government programs to maximize their market share, and we need to know whether that's the case," he added.
Catastrophic coverage will soon cost as much as the entire prescription program did when it launched, said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. "Congress can't continue to stand idle."
Experts say the rapid rise in spending for pricey drugs threatens to make the popular prescription benefit financially unsustainable.
"The incentive is to price it as high as they can," said Jim Yocum, senior vice president of Connecture, Inc., a company that tracks drug prices. Medicare is barred from negotiating prices, "so you max out your pricing and most of that risk is covered by the federal government."