FTC Raises Concerns About Efforts to Blunt Rx Competition

Biologic drugs are often used to treat health conditions that affect older populations – diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Derived from living organisms, biologics have an estimated average cost of $35,000 a year, which is far more than that of traditional, chemically derived drugs. Congress recently granted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to approve less expensive generic versions of biologic drugs, known as biosimilars or follow-on biologics. But while the FDA continues to work …

Why So Many Americans Put Off Medical Care

Hidalgo is a county in southern Texas just across the Rio Grande from Mexico. It’s also home to the highest prevalence of U.S. adults – about 40 percent of the population- delaying necessary medical care because of cost, according to data in the March 28 New England Journal of Medicine. The research letter in the March 28 issue of the journal found this number to vary significantly across the country and to be lower in places with less restrictive eligibility …

One in Three Older Adults Dies With Dementia

Less than a week after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced plans to get new Alzheimer’s drugs to market more quickly, comes two alarming reports showing dramatic increases in the number of deaths from the degenerative brain disease. A new report, released by the Alzheimer’s Association, an advocacy group, finds that one in three older adults dies with dementia, based on numbers from Medicare and Medicaid reports. Although Alzheimer’s may not be the direct cause of death, it can …

29 States Get ‘F’ for Keeping Health Costs Hidden

By Russ Mitchell for Kaiser Health News Wonder why you can’t get a straight answer on how much a health care procedure will cost you? One big reason: State laws which allow hospitals and other providers to keep costs hidden until they send you the bill. A report card on price transparency released today gives 29 states an “F” and seven states a “D” for policies that keep patients and their families in the dark on prices. The failing grade …

Companies to Workers: Get Healthy or Pay Up

If we want to pay less for our employer-sponsored health care insurance, we’d better put down that scoop of ice cream and put on those running shoes collecting dust in the back of the closet. A new survey says employers are changing the way they charge workers for insurance premiums. If you lose weight, stop smoking, take your meds and do preventive health screenings, you’ll pay a smaller portion of your health care premiums. Exhibit unhealthy behaviors and be prepared …

Ready, Set, Retire. Or Not.

How can we be brave enough to retire when our nest eggs aren’t moving in the right direction fast enough? Many of us older workers are still smarting from financial crisis and the toll it took on our net worth. We watched our retirement savings fall and start to inch their way back. But we’ve also been told, time and again by financial experts, that we need to stay on the job longer to save as much as we can so …