Should Medicare be allowed to negotiate drug prices? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Billions of dollars could be saved by Medicare if they simply negotiated drug prices for the ten most common prescription medicines in the same way Costco does, a recent study found. Caleb Alexander, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, says gathering the necessary political steam to do so is lacking.

Alexander: There have been many that have advocated for years to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. And there just hasn’t been the political will to get it done. I wouldn’t hold your breath on that one. Clearly Medicare is a major purchaser of prescription drugs in the country, and would have enormous leverage and enormous ability to negotiate down prices. I think that as a country we’re missing important opportunities to effectively and impactfully reduce prescription drug expenditures.  :30

Alexander urges people to be aware of this issue as programs such as Medicare come under scrutiny for cost cutting. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.