Friday, April 27, 2007

More drugs available at cheaper prices

The recent change in Colorado law that allows businesses to sell products below cost, as long as they are part a promotions package and not intended to set up a monopoly, extends to prescription drugs.

Last year, several national retailers, including Wal-Mart, Kmart and Target, began offering a 30-day supply of common generic prescription drugs for $4. About 10 percent of drugs on the lists of hundreds available under the program were excluded because of Colorado law.

"Clearly one of the goals of the new Democratic administration and Legislature is to take advantage of cost savings for consumers in certain areas," said Jim Hertel, a health care industry analyst and president of the HealthCare Corporation of America.

The downside of the legislation, he said, is "it clearly creates an economic advantage for those companies who can afford to provide services at a loss."

The affordability and accessiblity of prescription drugs is one of AARP's top priorities, said Morie Smile, spokeswoman. While the association that serves seniors did not take a position on this particular bill, Smile said AARP does back initiatives such as the use of generics across the board and multistate buying pools.

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