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Brown seeks to reduce senior prescription costs with legislation

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, has announced new legislation he says is aimed at making prescription drugs more affordable for seniors on Medicare.

Brown announced the proposal, the Medicare Prescription Drug Savings and Choice Act, at an appearance in Toledo on Friday.

Brown said his legislation would help lower costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate the best medication prices for seniors.

Brown’s proposal would require U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to negotiate prescription prices. The current law bars Medicare from bargaining, Brown’s office said.

Brown said prescription drug spending increased by 13 percent for seniors in 2014.

“Seniors on Medicare face skyrocketing bills for lifesaving drugs that they can’t afford and some insurance companies have stopped covering their drugs altogether,” Brown said in a news release. “This isn’t right, and it must stop. That’s why I helped introduce the Medicare Prescription Drug Savings and Choice Act. Giving Medicare the authority to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies will help seniors get the best prices for these critical prescription drugs. Seniors should be able to get drug coverage directly through Medicare – not be forced to buy from a middle man.”