drug prices

A new not-for-profit drug company, called Civica Rx, is looking to help combat drug shortages and rising prices with the help of health systems and hospitals across the nation, including several in Jacksonville.

Looking For Lower Medicare Drug Costs? Ask Your Pharmacist For The Cash Price

May 30, 2018
Kaiser Health News

As part of President Donald Trump’s blueprint to bring down prescription costs, Medicare officials have warned insurers that “gag orders” keeping pharmacists from alerting seniors that they could save money by paying cash — rather than using their insurance — are “unacceptable and contrary” to the government’s effort to promote price transparency.

But the agency stopped short of requiring insurers to lift such restrictions on pharmacists.

President Trump presented a broad-brush outline of how his administration hopes to stem the decades-long increase in prescription drug prices and spending, in a speech Friday in the Rose Garden of the White House.

The administration also released a 39-page document describing a variety of proposals it is either considering or studying in an effort to lower costs to individuals, corporations, the government and the economy as a whole.

States are continuing to do battle with budget-busting prices of prescription drugs. But a recent federal court decision could limit the tools available to them — underscoring the challenge states face as, in the absence of federal action, they attempt on their own to take on the powerful drug industry.

An online pharmacy that bills itself as Canada's largest is expected to be fined $34 million Friday for importing counterfeit cancer drugs and other unapproved pharmaceuticals into the United States, a sentence that one advocacy group called too light for such a heinous crime.

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Facing bipartisan hostility over high drug prices in an election year, the pharmaceutical industry's biggest trade group boosted revenue by nearly a fourth in 2016 and spread the millions collected among hundreds of lobbyists, politicians and patient groups, new filings show.

Insurers, hospitals and health advocates are waiting for Gov. Jerry Brown to deal the drug lobby a rare defeat, by signing legislation that would force pharmaceutical companies to justify big price hikes on drugs in California.

Drug Prices, Not The Health Law, Top Voters’ Health Priorities For 2017

Oct 27, 2016

Until this week, when big increases in insurance premiums were unveiled for next year, the federal health law has not been a major issue in the presidential election. In fact, fixing what ails the Affordable Care Act isn’t even among voters’ top priorities for health issues for next year, according to a new poll.

The battle continues to rage between drug companies that are trying to make as much money as possible and insurers trying to drive down drug prices. And consumers are squarely in the middle.

That's because, increasingly, prescription insurers are threatening to kick drugs off their lists of approved medications if the manufacturers won't give them big discounts.

The battle over drug prices escalated Monday when health insurance giant Anthem Inc. sued Express Scripts, a manager of drug benefits, to get a bigger share of savings on prescription medicines.

Associated Press

Most Americans support it. Virtually all other developed countries already do it. And the two leading presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle agree: the federal government should lower drug prices.

Candidates’ Drug-Price Plans May Miss The Mark

Feb 25, 2016
Associated Press

Most of the people running for president say they want to do something about the rising cost of prescription drugs. But most of their proposals probably won’t work because they don’t address the dynamics behind these price increases.

Steve Miller has some customers on offer. Millions of them in fact.

The chief medical officer at Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefit manager in the U.S., has been essentially auctioning off his 80 million customers to the drug companies that will give him the best deal.

"Who wants my market share?" Miller says. "Whoever will give me the best price, I will reward you with an enormous amount of market share."

The only thing Florida lawmakers must get done during the legislative session is pass a balanced budget. But it’s tricky ironing out all the numbers. And  a big part of laying out a budget is determining how much to spend when it comes to healthcare.

Sarah Jackson had quit abusing drugs and had been sober for six months when she found out she had hepatitis C.

"That was weeks of not sleeping and just constant tears," she says. "I had already put a lot of that behind me and had been moving forward with my life and this was just a major setback."

To get rid of the infection, her doctor prescribed Harvoni, one of the new generation of highly effective hepatitis C drugs. But Jackson never started the treatment because her insurance, Indiana's Medicaid, refused to pay for it.

Associated Press

With time running out on open enrollment season, many seniors are facing sharply higher premiums for Medicare's popular prescription drug program. The reason: rising drug costs have overtaken a long stretch of stable premiums.

As criticism of soaring prescription drug prices in the U.S. grows, global spending on medicines is expected to rise 3 percent to 6 percent annually for the next five years, according to a new forecast from IMS Health.

Associated Press

President Barack Obama’s nominee to lead the Food and Drug Administration defended his record Tuesday as senators pressed him about rising drug prices, slow approval times for new drugs and his ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

  President Barack Obama says he’s worried about rising prescription drug prices, but consumers need to take into account the United States’ role in the development of new medications, he told WUSF in a one-on-one interview.

The nation’s biggest pharmacy benefits manager has decided to cover two new drugs that lower artery-clogging cholesterol but raise concern over prices that can top $14,000 a year.

Many contact lens manufacturers are imposing what’s called a Unilateral Pricing Policy on contact retailers.  It lets manufacturers set a minimum price for their product. If retailers drop below that price, they risk losing the ability to continue selling that company’s contacts. Sen. Tom Lee (R-Brandon) says there are other products that fall under similar pricing agreements, but none quite like contacts.

Wikimedia Commons

Insurance companies, perhaps more than previously thought, may be charging the sickest patients extra for drugs under the federal health law, in an effort to discourage them from choosing certain plans, according to a study released Wednesday.