Reducing Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates has generated savings for the federal government by shifting costs to patients and employers instead of reducing overall spending, writes Kenneth C. Frazier, the chairman, president and CEO of Merck & Co. More such cuts to drugmakers will reduce investment in cutting-edge research for conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, he writes. Rather than shifting costs through short-term cuts, policymakers should consider how innovative medicines can prevent more costly illnesses and invasive treatments and contain spending, Frazier writes.

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