Monday, May 19, 2003
DEAN APPLAUDS SUPREME COURT DECISION www.deanforamerica.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 19, 2003
DEAN APPLAUDS SUPREME COURT DECISION
ON PRESCRIPTION DRUG COST CONTAINMENT
BURLINGTON, VT - Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean today applauded the Supreme Court's decision allowing Maine to begin implementing a program to force manufacturers to lower prices on prescription drugs.
"This is a good day for Americans who are struggling to pay for their needed prescriptions. Having worked very hard in support of Maine's effort, I am very pleased with the Supreme Court's ruling," Dean said. During Dean's tenure as Governor, his office worked closely with the Massachusetts Attorney General's office in encouraging other states to sign an Amicus brief supporting Maine.
Dean has long been a leader in controlling pharmaceutical costs. At a time when Congress has failed to deliver any meaningful cost containment legislation, it has fallen to Governors to look for solutions to the problem of skyrocketing pharmaceutical costs. Vermont, under Dean's leadership, received the first federal waiver for a program designed to secure manufacturer rebates to fund a discounted drug program for residents who do not normally qualify for Medicaid. Subsequently, Vermont and Maine worked closely together to develop programs to reduce pharmaceutical costs that could withstand court challenges.
Dean's efforts have included other strategies to reduce drug costs, including the development of a Preferred Drug List (PDL) and Supplemental Rebates. The results have been remarkable: by including a less expensive brand instead of highly-advertised heartburn medicines, Vermont's Medicaid expenditure on that category of drugs has been slashed by 43%.
Dean has also pushed through a number of other cost-containment strategies. For instance, Vermont negotiated an agreement with a Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM) to have a transparent contract; he signed a first-in-the-nation bill requiring pharmaceutical manufacturers to disclose gifts to physicians and other health care providers; and he has strongly advocated for allowing the re-importation of prescription drugs from Canada for personal use. In addition, as founder of Business for Affordable Medicine, a coalition of governors, business and organized labor, Dean has been a leader in advocating the closing of loopholes used by brand name drug manufacturers to prevent or delay lower-priced generic drugs from reaching the market place when patents expired.
"As a doctor, I witnessed first-hand the difficult choice patients often made between food and prescription drugs. As Governor, I knew could not afford to wait for Congress to act on the issue, so I implemented a variety of meaningful cost containment strategies. As President, I will build upon that work as an integral part of my health care agenda for the nation."
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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.