WNPR

Sick Of The Cost Of Prescription Drugs?

Jun 12, 2018

The Affordable Care Act’s protection for people with preexisting conditions is one of the most important provisions in the law. But that may be in jeopardy after a decision by the Department of Justice to not defend the ACA in a lawsuit filed by 20 states.

And prescription drug costs in the U.S. are on the rise. In 2015, the average American spent more than double the amount on pharmaceuticals than a person in the UK. We find out why prices are so high in this country, and hear about proposals from the Trump administration.

We also learn about a new law aimed to increase transparency on drug cost here in Connecticut.  

How much are you spending on medications?

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GUESTS:

  • Sarah Jane Tribble - Senior correspondent with Kaiser Health News who focuses on the pharmaceutical industry (@sjtribble)
  • Chris Murphy - U.S. Senator for Connecticut (@ChrisMurphyCT)
  • Ellen Andrews - Chair of the Connecticut Health Policy Project (@cthealthnotes)
  • Sean Scanlon - Representative to the CT General Assembly for Guilford and Branford, and Co-Chair of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee (@SeanScanlonCT)

READING LIST:

Kaiser Health News: Administration Challenges ACA’s Preexisting Conditions Protection In Court (June 2018) - “The attorneys general argue that a Supreme Court decision in 2012 saved the ACA from being declared an unconstitutional overreach of congressional power by declaring the penalty a tax and pointing out that Congress has the power to levy taxes. Without the tax penalty, they argue, ‘the Court should hold that the ACA is unlawful and enjoin its operation.’”

Kaiser Health News: Trump Vows (Again) To Lower Drug Prices But Skeptics Doubt Much Will Change – (Sarah Jane Tribble, May 2018) - “During the campaign and his presidency, Trump has used strong language against the pharmaceutical industry, famously saying the manufacturers are “getting away with murder.”... But when asked about whether Medicare will negotiate drugs — as Democrats have called for and the president has talked about — administration officials said that lever would not be pulled.”

C-HIT: Rising Rx Prices Forcing Critical Choices; States May Be Last Hope For Consumers (March 2018) – “Since 2003, drug costs in Connecticut have increased faster than prices across the nation, reports the nonprofit Connecticut Health Policy Project. The advocacy group also found that Connecticut residents spend more per person on prescriptions than residents in all states except Delaware and that rate is rising much faster than in other states.”

Chion Wolf contributed to this show.