Lowering the cost of prescription drugs is one of the top health care priorities among Americans, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation Poll. 61 percent of those polled believe bringing down drug prices should be the top health related priority in 2017.
Pretty timely….given the recent news surrounding the skyrocketing cost of EpiPens. From NBC News:
Is Mylan getting a taste of its own medicine?
Health insurance giant Cigna announced this week it’s dropping coverage for name brand $600 EpiPens, just as drugstore chain CVS nearly halved the price of a rival epinephrine autoinjector, Adrenaclick, to $109.
“It is positive news for our customers,” said Cigna spokeswoman Karen Eldred in a statement. “The generic version, available now in pharmacies, has the same drug formulation and device functionality as the branded medication, but at a substantial cost savings.”
So, Cigna dropped its coverage of the EpiPen for Mylan’s cheaper generic ($300), while CVS now offers an even steeper discount ($109) for another generic epinephrine autoinjector.
According to U.S. News & World Report, “Mylan NV began taking heat late last summer for its EpiPen pricing, which climbed more than 500 percent since 2007. A Congressional panel grilled CEO Heather Bresch in September about the soaring cost, which she has blamed in part on insurers, pharmacy benefits managers and other middlemen that stand between the drugmaker and the customer.”
Epinephrine autoinjectors, like Epipen and Adrenaclick, are used by many parents whose children are at risk of suffering from life-threatening anaphylactic shock if they are exposed to certain allergens. The high cost of the treatment makes it exceedingly difficult for some people to afford. USA Today put together a short video on this story. You can see it by clicking here or on the picture below.
President-elect Donald Trump recently weighed-in on rising drug prices saying (about drug companies), “They’re getting away with murder.” Mr. Trump says he wants to change the way our country bids on drugs to bring prices and spending down, although he wasn’t specific as to how he might go about doing that.
How do you think rising drug prices are affecting Arizonans? Do you think the EpiPen controversy will spill over to other high priced drugs in the coming year? Generating conversations around the health issues that are important to the people of our state is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!