A man walks past the the U.S. Capitol, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Credit: Patrick Semansky / AP

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Congress is considering a bill that would allow Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices. The pharmaceutical industry has lobbied against this because it would affect their profits even as we pay soaring prices for our prescription drugs. Medicare needs the right to negotiate lower drug prices now. It’s time our voices are heard and heeded by congress.

We need to stop the games we have to play, like joining Walgreens, Walmart, Singlecare or GoodRX, in order to get better prices.

But thanks to the pharmaceutical industry’s intense lobbying, Medicare is currently barred from “interfering” in price negotiations between drug manufacturers, pharmacies and prescription drug plans. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, “this provision means that the government can have no direct role in negotiating or setting drug prices in Medicare Part D.” 

Instead, the limited funds of older and more vulnerable citizens who have supported this country in their prime years, are going into the coffers of drug manufacturers. Isn’t it time to respect and support older and more vulnerable citizens in their later years?

Enough of high drug prices; enough of under-regulated drug manufacturers. It’s time that Medicare can negotiate drug prices that are affordable and accessible to all Mainers.

Ann Pedreschi