The Medicare rule, designed by the Trump administration to take money away from drug industry brokers and provide refunds to patients, has not been implemented. But budget analysts say if it were, it would cost the government money. So senators are pushing the rule aside and claiming to save billions of dollars, which they want to use instead on new projects.
Health plans’ coverage of the medication, branded as Wegovy — which has a $1,300-a-month price tag — is not a sure thing.
Pharmaceutical companies routinely cover the cost of patient copays for expensive drugs under private insurance. A federal judge could make the practice legal for millions on Medicare as well.
Missouri is the last state to create a monitoring program to help spot the misuse of prescription drugs. But some public health experts warn that the nation’s programs are forcing people addicted to opioids to seek deadlier street options.
The makers of Aduhelm, a drug approved last month despite concerns raised by experts about its effectiveness, have launched a website and ads designed to urge people who are worried about their memory to ask doctors about testing. But some health advocates say it is misleading because some memory loss with aging is normal.
With covid cases on the upswing again around the country, partisan division remains over how to address the pandemic. Meanwhile, the Biden administration proposes bigger penalties for hospitals that fail to make their prices public as required. Stephanie Armour of The Wall Street Journal, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Tami Luhby of CNN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest their favorite stories of the week they think you should read, too.
In today’s pharmaceutical universe, a simple “safe and effective” determination by the Food and Drug Administration to approve a drug can be manipulated to sell products of questionable value. And drugmakers can profit handsomely.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who is helping to negotiate the health care spending framework for the Democrats’ budget plan, said lawmakers may have to settle for very basic versions of programs deployed in the package. But the key, he added, is to get the “architecture of these changes, bold changes,” started and show people what is possible.
The July 9 directive addresses the importation of prescription drugs and broader efforts to reduce the high cost of medicines.
Democrats in Congress reached a tentative agreement to press ahead on a partisan bill that would dramatically expand health benefits for people on Medicare, those who buy their own insurance and individuals who have been shut out of coverage in states that didn’t expand Medicaid. Meanwhile, controversy continues to rage over whether vaccinated Americans will need a booster to protect against covid-19 variants, and who will pay for a new drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Rachel Cohrs of Stat and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Rae Ellen Bichell, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a mother and daughter who fought an enormous emergency room bill.