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Norvir: Gouging Medicare on AIDS Drugs

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Publication Date: January 2007

Publisher(s): Medicare Rights Center; Public Citizen, inc.; National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices

Topic: Health (Pharmaceutical services)

Type: Report

Coverage: New York New York Maine


Under Medicare Part D, people with Medicare and American taxpayers are paying five times the price that Medicaid pays for the HIV/AIDS drug Norvir, a product of Abbott Laboratories. A year's treatment with the drugs costs at least $6,326 under Medicare Part D, compared to around $1,230 under Medicaid. An estimated 100,000 number of people with Medicare have HIV/AIDS. If there is one drug that illustrates why Medicare should negotiate directly with manufacturers for lower prices for Medicare Part D drug coverage, it is Norvir. The role the federal government played in the development of this life-sustaining drug and the manipulation of its price by the patent holder, Abbott Laboratories, demonstrates the urgent need for the full power of the federal government to be used to restrain the power and greed of the pharmaceutical company.