In the second quarter of 2018, real US drug prices declined 5.8%, and it may be thanks to co-payment accumulators; more than 25 patient and consumer groups released a statement that said a new bill to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions would not be sufficient; the Department of Justice has issued a warning to cities planning to set up supervised injection sites as a tactic to curb opioid overdose deaths.
Insurers Use Co-Pay Accumulators to Drive Down Real Drug Prices
In the second quarter of 2018, real US drug prices declined 5.8%, and it may be thanks to a new tactic by insurers. According to Reuters
, co-payment accumulator programs are forcing drug companies to assist patients with co-pays, while they receive less revenue on sales. However, the tactic is not necessarily translating into savings for patients—employers and payers are more likely to benefit. The co-pay accumulator prevents coupons from counting toward a patient’s deductible.
Patient Groups Call GOP’s Pre-Existing Conditions Bill Insufficient
More than 25 patient and consumer groups released a statement that said a new bill to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions would not be sufficient. The legislation was introduced by 10 Republican senators with the aim of protecting people with pre-existing conditions if an ongoing lawsuit
against the Affordable Care Act is successful, reported The Hill
. According to the statement, the bill does not actually ban pre-existing condition exclusions. In addition, the bill “would remove rating restrictions based on age, gender, tobacco use, or occupation.” Some of the co-signers on the statement
include American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Diabetes Association, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, National Health Council, and Susan G. Komen.
Cities Push Back on DOJ’s Threat to Supervised Injection Sites
New York City, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and other cities have plans to set up supervised injection sites as an approach to combat the nationwide opioid epidemic, but the Department of Justice has issued a warning to these cities over the plans. The Washington Post reported
that the federal government has taken the position the setting up such sites violates a law that criminalizes places where illegal drugs are knowingly used. However, the cities, and other advocates, argue the sites can save the lives of people who would otherwise use the drugs in less safe and sanitary conditions. The supervised sites are monitored by staffers who have naloxone in the event of an opioid overdose.