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New Poll: Coloradans Want Medicare to Bargain for Better Drug Prices

February 26, 2007

Medicare has massive bargaining power -- and a new poll shows 86 percent of Americans want the federal government to use that clout to strike better deals on prescription drug prices. The U.S. Senate will consider allowing Medicare to bargain with drug companies, a practice that has not been permitted to date.

A.W. Schnellbacher of AARP Colorado says the state is just one with a new drug purchasing pool in place, and it's time for the federal government to follow that lead.

"Because of the volume they would have, they would be able to get a better price. We just think it's a win-win, not only for the consumers, but also for the taxpayers."

Opponents of the idea insist that it would short-change drug companies and lead to cuts in research and development, and that open-market competition is the best way to set prices. But advocates of the change say negotiating gives companies an incentive to do more research, in order to better compete for Medicare dollars.

See the AARP poll results online at

Dondrea Warner/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - CO