Why Are Some Generic-Drug Prices Soaring?

Inexpensive generic drugs have helped millions of Americans save money on brand-name medication, but lately soaring prices on some longtime generics are prompting investigations into this pricing U-turn by pharmaceutical companies. In addition, a a new AARP drug-pricing report shows retail prices for brand-name prescription drugs continue to increase. The debate over some generic price hikes has spurred the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging to hold a hearing to review pricing on a dozen generics, and the Department …

Medicare Open Enrollment: 3 Things to Know

Don’t miss the once-a-year opportunity to make changes to your Medicare plan. It’s that time of year again: Medicare Open Enrollment runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. By now you should have received your Annual Notice of Change packet of information in the mail. It’s so important to take the time to sit down and review this information to see if you need to make any changes for next year. “Whether you have original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, …

Pharmacies May Soon Be Able to Take Back Old Drugs

Up to now, getting rid of old or unused prescription drugs from your medicine cabinet has not been easy: Drugs could not be legally returned to pharmacies; flushing them down the toilet or tossing them in the trash was discouraged because of environmental concerns; and taking them to a police station could only be done at a twice-a-year take-back events (the next one is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 27). >>  12 Foods to Beat Diabetes But fears about …

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 …

Millions Save on Prescriptions and Get No-Cost Preventive Services

Nearly seven million seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare have saved $9 billion to date on their prescription drugs thanks to the Affordable Care Act, according to new data released today by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. That’s an average savings of about $1,200 per person since the health care law started closing the “doughnut hole.” Over time, the law will eliminate the doughnut hole – the gap in Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage where enrollees …

TV Drug-Ad Claims: Take With a Large Grain of Salt

Television commercials for drugs apparently should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism, says a new study that found that six out of 10 claims in the ads were misleading and one in 10 was false. Researchers analyzed 168 prescription drug ads airing between 2008 and 2010 on the nightly news, which draws a predominantly older audience and is considered a prime time for drug advertising. They found that nearly 60 percent “had misleading statements that omitted or exaggerated …