What We're Reading: $1 Alternative to Pricey Daraprim

What we're reading, December 1, 2015: $1 alternative to Daraprim being made available; over-the-counter medications are convenient and affordable but have their own dangers; and an analysis looks at the reasons why prescription drugs are so much more expensive in the US.

Express Scripts Will Sell $1 Daraprim Alternative

Following Turing Pharmaceuticals’ controversial decision to increase the price of the 62-year-old Daraprim to $750 a pill from $13.50 a pill, Express Scripts and Imprimis Pharmaceuticals will partner to increase access to a low-cost alternative of the drug. Daraprim is used to treat toxoplasmosis and the price increase puts it out of reach for people with HIV, pregnant women, and others with weakened immune systems. The compounded alternative will only cost $1 per capsule.

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The Dangers of Over-the-Counter Medications

Over-the-counter medications used commonly to treat a variety of ailments are convenient and affordable, but are often used inappropriately. The New York Times reported that one-fifth of American adults admit to taking more than the recommended dose and using over-the-counter medications more frequently than they should. In addition, few consult a doctor or pharmacists first.

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Behind the Higher Cost of Prescription Drugs in America

Although the cost of living in Norway is higher than the US, the price of prescription drugs is far higher in America, according to an analysis from The Wall Street Journal. Comparing drug prices paid for by Medicare Part B with those paid by Norway’s taxpayer-funded health system, the analysis revealed that 93% of 40 top branded drugs were more expensive in the US. The Journal found similar results when comparing the US to England and Canada’s Ontario province.

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