Summary: S.4024 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.4024. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (12/10/2010)

Medicare Enhancements for Needed Drugs Act of 2010 - Directs the Comptroller General to review and report to Congress on the retail cost of prescription drugs in the United States during 2004 through 2010, with an emphasis on the prescription drugs most utilized for individuals age 65 or older.

Requires the Comptroller General to conduct an ongoing study that compares the average retail cost in the United States for each of the 20 most utilized prescription drugs for individuals age 65 or older with: (1) the average prices at which private health plans, the Department of Defense (DOD) under the Defense Health Program, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) acquire each such drug; and (2) the average negotiated price for each such drug that eligible beneficiaries have access to under a Medicare prescription drug plan providing only basic prescription drug coverage.

Amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act (SSA) to include in the comparative plan information for beneficiaries under Medicare part D (Voluntary Prescription Drug Benefit Program) a comparison of average aggregate prescription drug plan beneficiary costs and savings with such costs for a beneficiary with no prescription drug plan.

Repeals the prohibition against interference by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) with the negotiations between drug manufacturers and pharmacies and prescription drug plan sponsors. Authorizes the Secretary instead, like other federal entities that purchase prescription drugs in bulk, to negotiate contracts with manufacturers of covered part D drugs. Requires the use of the resulting savings to the Medicare Prescription Drug Account to strengthen the part D program and to reduce the federal deficit.

Requires the Secretary to ensure that each part D eligible individual has: (1) a choice of enrollment in a comprehensive prescription drug plan in the area in which the individual resides; or (2) in any case in which such a plan is not available, the opportunity to enroll in a comprehensive fallback prescription drug plan.