Medicare drug price negotiation could save $2.8 billion according to McCaskill report

A new report, drafted by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, compared Medicare Part D spending on the 20 most commonly prescribed drug brands with the cost if those drugs were priced on par with the Department of Veterans Affairs, which does negotiate prices.

A new report, drafted by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, compared Medicare Part D spending on the 20 most commonly prescribed drug brands with the cost if those drugs were priced on par with the Department of Veterans Affairs, which does negotiate prices. The report concluded that Medicare bargaining could save Medicare Part D $2.8 billion a year on just the 20 most commonly prescribed brand-name drugs. It found that even after applying an average 17.5% branded drug rebate, as published by CMS, and increasing federal prices to cover miscellaneous costs like dispensing fees, Medicare could still save $2.8 billion a year if prices of those drugs were federally negotiated. "Getting bulk discounts is something every business does, and the fact that the federal government is prohibited from doing it for Medicare is unconscionable," McCaskill said in a statement.