ARTICLE | Politics & Policy

Obama targeting drug profits

July 16, 2011 12:37 AM UTC

Heading into a weekend of negotiations on raising the federal debt ceiling and lowering the deficit, President Obama made clear on Friday that tapping drug company profits is under active discussion. Speaking at a press conference, Obama said, "It's important for us to keep in mind that drug companies, for example, are still doing very well through the Medicare program." He added that although the healthcare reform law lowered drug costs for seniors "there's more work to potentially be done there."

For the drug industry, the two most important items under discussion between the White House and Congress are proposals to impose rebates on Medicare Part D drug sales to Medicare recipients who are eligible for Medicaid and to reduce the reimbursement rate for Part B drugs. The bipartisan Fiscal Commission recommended imposing rebates on so-called dual eligibles, estimating it could reduce the deficit by $49 billion over a decade (see BioCentury Extra, April 13). ...