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There is clear evidence the pharmaceutical industry manipulates well-intentioned laws to increase prices and profits. We’ll use two laws as our case studies, the Orphan Drug Act of 1983 and the Hatch-Waxman Act of 1984 which jumpstarted the generic drug industry. The first was designed to give incentives to drug...
Is the beloved program on its last legs?
Recently Peggy, an Indiana woman and reader of this column, sent me a lengthy email about her 94-year-old mother who is rapidly spending down her minimal savings to pay for prescription drugs.   Peggy didn’t hold out much hope that prices would come down before it was too late for...
Critics feared the worst on March 14, but under pressure from activists and Tarbell reporting, an Oregon panel has tabled a vote on a cut-off that could raise the risk of suicide nearly 300%.
If you’re buying health insurance on your own this year, the marketplace is more complicated – and dangerous – than ever. Dangerous?  How can that be?  This is health insurance we’re talking about, not some sketchy Internet site. But the reality is that the scam artists are out in full...
If ever there were an award for the best “buyer beware” story, a tale detailing the pitfalls of short-term health insurance would certainly rise to the top of the list of nominees. Short-term policies — not to be confused with association policies I’ve written about before — are hitting the...
Tarbell is highlighting the government fines and penalties businesses pay when they engage in fraudulent or criminal behavior. Often, these fines are just a small part of the firms’ annual revenue and don’t actually serve as a deterrent. To these companies, it’s just the cost of doing business. International company...
Oral Health in America:Removing the Stain of Disparity details inequities to an oral health care system that disproportionately affects the poor, those without insurance, underrepresented and underserved communities, the disabled, and senior citizens. This book addresses issues in workforce development including the use of dental therapists, the rationale for the...
A retired Tennessee physician and professor watches his state shred the medical safety net of his state. Just when I thought things couldn’t get much worse for the TennCare program, they did. (TennCare is Tennessee’s Medicaid managed care program.) First, Medicaid has not been expanded under the Affordable Care Act in...
Axelrod said that Medicare for All has “become a phrase as much as anything else.”
You would think that making the prices charged by hospitals and doctors available to their patients would be a no-brainer.  After all, we’ve become accustomed to knowing the price we pay for cars, carrots, comic books, and almost everything else we buy. Why not knee surgery or appendectomies? The medical...
You’re not alone in wanting to fix a broken system that perpetuates high prices.
The arrangements between drug manufacturers and insurance middlemen are accelerating price increases.
The new Martin Shkreli is Nostrum Laboratories’ Nirmal Mulye – who raised the price of a bladder infection antibiotic from $475 a bottle to nearly $2,400 a bottle.
When you buy an overpriced medicine at the pharmacy, a complex network of players has taken a quiet cut. They aim to keep it that way.
As insurance companies push doctors to save money by switching their patients to generic drugs, complaints about those generics appear to be on the upswing.  That’s the observation of journalist Katherine Eban, who has written a book, “Bottle of Lies,” that tells a very dark tale about...
Addressing the problem will require private and public sector to agree on causes and solutions.
High drug prices are Americans’ number one health care concern. The average price of a cancer drug rose from less than $10,000 a year before 2000 to more than $170,000 a year in 2017. Between 1995 and 2013, the launch price of cancer drugs increased by 10 to 12...
Many medicines are cheaper if you buy them outside your insurance for the cash price.