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What We're Reading: Drug Makers Accused of Price-Fixing; Washington State Public Option Insurance; Vaccine Exemptions Stall

AJMC Staff
Several generic drug manufacturers are accused of price-fixing in a lawsuit; the state of Washington offers residents a universally available public option for health insurance; bills proposed by states to limit vaccine exemptions have stalled.

44 States Accuse Drug Makers of Price-Fixing in Lawsuit

On Friday, 44 states filed a lawsuit that accused several pharmaceutical companies of inflating prices on drugs and making efforts to prevent competition, The Hill reported Saturday. The suit claims that 20 drug manufacturers engaged in price-fixing and had illegally collaborated to divide up the market and increase prices by as much as 1000%. One company, Teva, which denied wrongdoing, was placed at the heart of the controversy and was accused of conspiring to raise prices of 86 drugs between July 2013 and January 2015.

 

Washington State to Offer Public Option for Insurance

The state of Washington has worked to make a public option for health insurance universally available for its residents, The New York Times reported. The plan was approved last month by state legislature and Governor Jay Inslee is expected to sign it into law today. Prices of a set of tiered plans, which would cover standard services, are expected to be 10% less expensive than comparable private insurance plans.

 

Efforts to Limit Vaccine Exemptions Have Stalled

As the current measles outbreak has rapidly become the worst in decades, state legislatures have failed to limit exemptions that allow families to avoid vaccinating their children, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts. While states such as Arizona, Hawaii, Iowa, and New York had previously proposed bills to remove exemptions, they have either stalled in committee or failed to advance. The CDC has reported 764 measles infections in 23 states this year alone, far eclipsing numbers from recent years.

 
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