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

February 26, 2007


An overwhelming number of New Mexicans favor letting Medicare use its massive bargaining power to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices.

A new poll, released by AARP New Mexico, shows 87-percent of New Mexicans want the federal government to strike better deals on prescription drug prices, and the U.S. Senate is considering allowing such negotiation. New Mexico already allows drug purchasing pools, as do many other states, and Mike Donnelly of AARP New Mexico says it's time for the federal government to allow Medicaid to follow that lead.

"Negotiating for prices, much like the Veterans Administration does, would carve out even lower prices for consumers.
When you have a huge amount of customers and you're negotiating on behalf, by pure quantity it allows you to negotiate better prices."

Opponents say the plan would shortchange drug companies and lead to cuts in research and development, but advocates say price negotiation would be an incentive for companies to do more research in order to better compete for Medicare dollars. The House already has approved a similar bill.

The poll results are online at www.aarp.org/nm.

Dondrea Warner/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - NM