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 …

How to Cut $200 Billion in Health Care Costs

By Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News The U.S. spends $200 billion each year – about 8 percent of the nation’s health care tab – on medical care stemming from improper or unnecessary use of prescription drugs, a new report out Wednesday says. Much of those costs result from unneeded hospitalizations or doctor visits, according to the study by the IMS Health’s Institute for Healthcare Informatics, which provides data and other consulting services to the health care industry. Medical costs are driven …

Taxes on Social Security, Prescription Drugs, Food?

Tax reform proposals are bubbling up in a number of states across the country as elected officials look for ways to stimulate the state’s economy or revamp outdated tax codes. Sometimes, however, a key element gets lost in the debate: what’s fair. Right now, in North Carolina, state leaders are working on a variety of proposals that would force North Carolinians to pay new taxes on the things they count on most, including the basics of everyday living. One Senate …