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Denize Springer
SFSU Office of Public Affairs & Publications
(415) 405-3803
(415) 338-1665

Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


SFSU experts on prescription drug policy available for comment on Medicare plan

SAN FRANCISCO, January 9, 2006 -- Flaws in the new Medicare prescription drug benefit program have frustrated consumers since the plan was launched and patient advocates expect the scenario to continue through the May 15 deadline for enrollment. Below are comments and contact information for two San Francisco State faculty experts who are available to comment on the new plan, its conception and its problems.

For additional assistance on locating an expert, go to
or contact the SFSU Office of Public Affairs and Publications at (415) 338-1665 or

Ramon Castellblanch, assistant professor of health education, specializes in U.S. health policies and politics, prescription drugs and grassroots policies. He holds a Ph.D. in health policy and management from Johns Hopkins University. Castellblanch can be reached at (707) 747-6763 or

"The Medicare Prescription Drug program is a boondoggle bought by lobbyists of the drugmakers and the insurance companies. It guarantees these interests billions of dollars in government overpayments for medicines and for insurance coverage," he said. "At the same time, it will poorly serve U.S. seniors and people with disabilities. It offers very skimpy coverage and, because it is so confusing, millions of seniors have not even enrolled in it. In California, it risks cuts in coverage for many of the one million people who had gotten their medicines through Medi-Cal."

Deborah LeVeen, professor of urban studies, specializes in creation and implementation of public health policy. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from University of Chicago. LeVeen can be reached -- after Jan. 13 -- at (415) 338-7520 or

"The blind advocacy of a competitive free-market approach has caused chaos and the lack of federal authority to negotiate drug prices will generate enormous and totally unnecessary cost increases in an area where costs are already out of control," she said.


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Last modified January 9, 2006, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications