Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and other generic-drug makers criticized the health care reform bill unveiled by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., which would require such firms to pay the government higher rebates for medicines used in Medicaid. The proposal "could have the unintended consequence of also increasing the costs of generics for consumers and the government" by hampering competition, according to the Generic Pharmaceutical Association.
Some drugmakers, including Sepracor and Sanofi-Aventis, are offering discounts and rebates for some brand-name medicines as insurers and employers increasingly switch to pharmacy-benefit plans that charge the lowest co-payments. Consumer advocates and medical experts said patients can save even more by switching to generic drugs, which are as effective as their brand-name counterparts.
Senators have submitted 564 proposed amendments to Sen. Max Baucus' health care legislation set to be reviewed by the Senate Finance Committee beginning Tuesday. Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, filed 26 amendments -- including four with Democrats and one with a Democrat and a Republican.
The health reform bill released last week by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., proposes a tax on higher-end insurance policies that would pay for more than a quarter of the estimated $774 billion plan. However, experts now say these "Cadillac" policies also include ones that cover firefighters, coal miners, older workers at small businesses and others.