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Friday, September 5, 2008

Who supports our vets? Not the Republicans, that's for shit sure.

Republicans keep touting how they support the troops but when it comes to voting body armor for them or reduced drug prices, they will fight tooth and nail to only work for their corporate interests.  When soldiers were asking Rumsfeld why they had to dig through scrap metal heaps to up armor their vehicles, Bush and his defense department were giving contracts worth billions to private mercenaries who were very well equipped.  They only work for their corporate cronies.  At least SOME democrats will work for the masses.


Military update Tricare to see 25 percent drop in retail drug costs

By Tom Philpott,
Special to Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition,
Saturday, August 30, 2008

The government’s cost of providing brand-name drugs to military beneficiaries through TRICARE’s vast retail pharmacy network is falling by 25 percent as new law forces drug manufacturers to expand price discounts.The change won’t affect co-payments charged military family members and retirees who have 60 million prescriptions a year filled in retail drug outlets. 

But Department of Defense pharmacy costs will be cut by more than $700 million next year and by higher amounts in following years.The cost savings flow from a provision in the fiscal 2008 defense authorization act that requires drug makers to extend federal pricing discounts to brand-name medicines dispensed to military beneficiaries through drug stores, supermarkets and other commercial outlets.

For years, pharmaceutical companies have been required to grant federal discounts only for drugs dispensed on base, or through TRICARE’s mail order option or through Department of Veterans Affairs’ pharmacies.Defense officials tried administratively to get the same discounts for the retail pharmacy network but that effort was blocked in 2006 through a successful industry lawsuit. 

A short time later, when TRICARE officials sought a legislation solution, White House politicos quietly sided with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association in opposing imposition of discounts on prescriptions through retail outlets.Meanwhile, the administration has pressed Congress over the last three years to raise beneficiary co-payments at retail pharmacies to entice greater use of mail order and base pharmacies where federal prices do apply.

In passing the 2008 defense bill, the Democratically-led Congress left beneficiary co-payments unchanged, and directed that federal price discounts be expanded to brand name drugs filled in the TRICARE retail network. The projected pharmacy savings for fiscal 2009, which total $719 million, exceeds the savings estimate used by Bush administration to argue for higher drug co-payments in the retail network.

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