The high cost of prescription drugs
Think Medicare's ability to negotiate prescription drug prices is a trivial issue? Think again.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the top five classes of prescription drugs in 2004 were cardiovascular drugs ($17 billion), cholesterol-lowering drugs ($10 billion), hormones ($8 billion), central nervous system drugs ($7 billion), and gastrointestinal drugs ($6 billion). Expenditures for these drugs totalled $48 billion, or three fourths of Medicare drug expenditures ($65 billion).