prescription drugs

State lawmakers are turning to charity to help uninsured patients get their medications.

A bill with bipartisan support would allow pharmacists, doctors and health care facilities to donate unused prescription drugs to a state repository that could be accessed by indigent, uninsured or under-insured patients.

Prescription drugs on a shelf.
Daylina Miller/WUSF

Florida’s initial effort to gauge interest in the operation of a Canadian drug importation program has drawn more letters of concern from critics than responses from those seeking to participate in the program.

The Agency for Health Care Administration issued a request for information from potential vendors in late May, after state lawmakers approved the drug-importation plan. During a month-long response period, two vendors --- Ernst & Young and Maximus --- responded to the agency’s request.

Florida's 'Pill Mills' Were A Gateway To The Opioid Crisis

Jul 22, 2019

Florida survives on tourism, but a decade ago thousands of visitors made frequent trips to the state not to visit its theme parks or beaches. Instead, they came for cheap and easy prescription painkillers sold at unscrupulous walk-in clinics.

Drug Importation Bill Goes To DeSantis

Jun 11, 2019
Prescription drugs on a shelf
Daylina Miller/WUSF

Gov. Ron DeSantis could be on the verge of signing a bill aimed at allowing cheaper imported prescription drugs from Canada.

DeSantis, who made the issue one of his priorities during this year’s legislative session, formally received the bill (HB 19) on Monday.

As the cost of prescription medication soars, consumers are increasingly taking generic drugs: low-cost alternatives to brand-name medicines. Often health insurance plans require patients to switch to generics as a way of controlling costs. But journalist Katherine Eban warns that some of these medications might not be as safe, or effective, as we think.

Drug Importation Fight Moves To Washington

May 8, 2019
Prescription drugs on a shelf
Daylina Miller/WUSF

The battle over whether to allow state programs and Floridians to have access to prescription drugs imported from Canada has already been waged in the Legislature, but it is now shifting from the halls of Tallahassee to Washington, D.C. 

The Trump Administration is supporting a request Florida lawmakers just passed to curb rising drug costs by allowing the state to important cheaper prescription drugs from outside the U.S.

10 From Florida, Alabama Charged In Alleged Drug Scheme

May 7, 2019
Stethoscope and gavel against a white backdrop.
Wikimedia Commons

Ten people from Alabama and Florida are charged as part of a ring that federal authorities say fraudulently billed companies for more than $200 million in drugs. 

Major Health Bills Headed To DeSantis

Apr 30, 2019
Elderly patient holds prescription pill bottle.
Heidi de Marco/KHN

After more than two decades of debate about the issue, the Florida Legislature on Monday approved eliminating the “certificate of need” regulatory program for hospitals and passed a high-profile measure aimed at importing prescription drugs from Canada. 

Consumers Rejected Drug Plan That Mirrors Trump Administration Proposal

Apr 9, 2019
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Unraveling how much of a prescription drug price gets swallowed by “middlemen” is at the forefront of Tuesday’s drug price hearing in the Senate. One thing bound to come up: rebates. 

DeSantis Tries To Build Support For Drug Imports

Apr 9, 2019

In a move that could suggest one of his top legislative priorities is encountering stiff resistance, Gov. Ron DeSantis took time Monday to defend his push to allow the importation of prescription drugs from Canada. 

A new drug to treat postpartum depression is likely to reach the U.S. market in June, with a $34,000 price tag.

House Panel Backs Giving Florida Access To Foreign Drugs

Mar 19, 2019
Prescription drugs on a shelf.
Daylina Miller/WUSF

Floridians could gain access to cheaper prescription drugs from Canada and other foreign countries under legislation approved by a state House committee Monday amid concern it could open the door to subpar and even dangerous medications. 

DeSantis Plan To Import Prescription Drugs To Lower Prices Gets House Support

Mar 13, 2019

Gov. Ron DeSantis was criticized last year for not having a health care platform while he campaigned for the state’s top job.

WGCU

The Senate Health Policy Committee on Monday unanimously signed off on a pair of bills sponsored by the panel’s chairwoman, Gayle Harrell. 

About a quarter of Americans surveyed say they've had trouble paying for their prescription drugs, and a majority welcome government action to help cut the cost of medications.

A survey released Friday by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation finds that many people have skipped or rationed their prescription medications or have substituted cheaper over-the-counter drugs.

Prescription drugs on a shelf.
Daylina Miller/WUSF

With bipartisan support, state lawmakers are moving forward with bills that would authorize a drug-repository program to redistribute prescription drugs to poor and uninsured residents.

House and Senate proposals (HB 59 and SB 104) received approval this week from the House Health Quality Subcommittee and the Senate Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee.

The similar proposals would create a drug-repository program at the Florida Department of Health to facilitate donations of prescription drugs and supplies to people who need them.

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Governor Ron DeSantis says it might take some time before Florida patients can get prescription drugs from Canada through a program he announced last week. That’s because some federal agencies are still concerned with the availability and quality of these drugs. 

Congress Wades Into Emotional Debate Over High-Cost Prescription Drugs

Jan 30, 2019
Architect of the Capitol

Senators railed against pharmaceutical executives Tuesday for declining to testify before Congress about out-of-control drug prices, as lawmakers on both sides of the U.S. Capitol kicked off investigations sure to rattle one of the nation’s most powerful industries. 

Drug-Pricing Policies Find New Momentum As ‘A 2020 Thing’

Jan 25, 2019
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The next presidential primary contests are more than a year away. But presumed candidates are already trying to stake a claim to one of health care’s hot-button concerns: surging prescription drug prices.

“This is a 2020 thing,” said Dr. Peter Bach, who directs the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and tracks drug-pricing policy.

No More Secrets: Congress Bans Pharmacist ‘Gag Orders’ On Drug Prices

Oct 10, 2018
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For years, most pharmacists couldn’t give customers even a clue about an easy way to save money on prescription drugs. But the restraints are coming off.

When the cash price for a prescription is less than what you would pay using your insurance plan, pharmacists will no longer have to keep that a secret.

healthcare.gov

Consumers signing up for health insurance on the Affordable Care Act marketplace should double check how prescriptions are covered.

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Makers of brand-name drugs called out by the Trump administration for potentially stalling generic competition have hiked their prices by double-digit percentages since 2012 and cost Medicare and Medicaid nearly $12 billion in 2016, a Kaiser Health News analysis has found.

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Facing a rising death toll from drug overdoses, state lawmakers across the country are testing a strategy to boost treatment for opioid addicts: Force drug manufacturers and their distributors to pay for it.

The Tallahassee Police Department will be collecting prescription drugs this Saturday as part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. 

Saturday is National Drug Take Back Day, in which people are encouraged to clean out their old prescriptions and properly dispose them. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is one of many police departments that will be participating.

Danny Alvarez, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson, said that properly disposing drugs will protect everyone from potential opioid abuse.

Pharmacy Technician amongst two shelves of prescription pills.
Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

A program to give naloxone overdose-antidote kits and training to front-line officers. Funding for pill disposal boxes in pharmacies, clinics and police stations across North Carolina. A radio campaign in Connecticut warning of the dangers of opioid abuse. A new medicine to treat opioid-induced constipation.

Medicaid Program Limiting Opioid Prescriptions

Feb 21, 2018
Daylina Miller / Health News Florida

As lawmakers consider proposals to limit opioid prescriptions, Gov. Rick Scott’s administration is taking steps to do the same in the Florida Medicaid program.

Phil Galewitz/Kaiser Health News / Kaiser Health News

Some cities, counties and school districts in Florida and around the country are helping their employees buy cheap prescription drugs from Canada and overseas.

Daylina Miller/Health News Florida

Inspired by a ProPublica story in April that described how nursing homes and their pharmacies nationwide throw away hundreds of tons of valuable medicines — and how one Iowa nonprofit successfully recycles them — two states are working to create similar programs.

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