prescription drug costs

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

OK. Now to a bill the House of Representatives passed today to lower prescription drug costs. This measure is a priority of House Democrats. It is not a bipartisan bill. President Trump has said he will veto it.

In a year already marked by a wide variety of congressional health care legislation, Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., on Thursday released the details of a plan they hope will help bring down health costs and eliminate surprise medical bills for patients. Alexander and Murray are the chair and ranking member, respectively, of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

About 1.6 million Floridians are enrolled in Affordable Care Act Marketplace plans.

Open enrollment starts Nov. 1 and ends Dec. 15. Florida Blue offers plans in all 67 Florida counties, and covers more than half of enrollees.

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.

Kaiser Health News

The recent school shootings in Florida and Maryland have focused attention on the National Rifle Association’s clout in state and federal lobbying activities.

Drug Coverage Denied By Medicare? How Seniors Can Fight Back

May 4, 2017
Getty

Kenneth Buss had taken Xarelto, a blood thinner, for more than a year when his mail-order pharmacy refused a request to refill his prescription several weeks ago.

Trump, Democrats Look For Common Ground On Drug Prices

Mar 8, 2017

For years, congressional Democrats have tried to pass legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices for millions of beneficiaries.

Now, they believe they have a not-so-secret weapon: President Donald J. Trump.

Nearly two dozen Florida businesses and healthcare groups have signed on to a national campaign to control prescription drug costs.  The effort has been buoyed recently by reports of astronomically high prices for every-day medications like Epi Pens.

MGN Online

Most people don't shop for lower prescription drug prices. They should, especially now that there are easier ways to do so.

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.

Associated Press

Americans from across the political spectrum are worried about the cost of prescription drugs for serious diseases, following weeks of news coverage about companies hiking prices for critical medicines.

Sticker-shocked patients increasingly wonder why prices for prescription drugs continue to rise in the U.S.

MGN Online

Florida insurance regulators will start reviewing health plans for discriminatory practices after three insurers were accused of charging higher prices for HIV drugs.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation announced it will review 2016 plans available on HealthCare.gov in Florida for possible discriminatory practices in their coverage of all prescription medications, and will also limit patient cost-sharing of HIV medications to reasonable co-pays.

Survey: Drug Costs Are ‘Unreasonable'

Jun 16, 2015

Nearly three in four Americans say the costs of prescription drugs are “unreasonable,” with most putting the blame on drugmakers, according to a poll released Tuesday.

The survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found 74 percent of those taking prescription drugs find the costs unreasonable, as do 72 percent of those not taking such drugs. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)

UnitedHealthCare

The nation's largest health insurer, UnitedHealth, will muscle up for its fight against rising prescription drug costs by spending more than $12 billion to buy pharmacy benefits manager Catamaran Corp.

Pharmacy benefits managers, or PBMs, help negotiate the prices that customers pay for prescription drugs. They are seen as a key component in the push to contain soaring costs from specialty drugs, complex medicines that can represent treatment breakthroughs but often at a much higher price than other drugs.

Who Decides Who Gets Costly Drugs?

Mar 12, 2014

New treatments for hepatitis C that cost at least $66,000 to $84,000 may work better than older drugs, but their cost undermines their value to the health system, a panel of experts said during a daylong forum in San Francisco.

“The price makes it very hard for the health care system,” said Steve Pearson, who oversaw the meeting Monday for the California Technology Assessment Forum, a group affiliated with health insurers that holds public meetings to weigh evidence on new treatments.