What We're Reading: Drug Discounts for Uninsured; Life Expectancy; Duchenne Drug Price

Cheaper Drugs for the Uninsured

Express Scripts will offer a lower rate for some drugs used by people in high-deductible health plans or by people who have no insurance. The program is free, and consumers will get discounts on drugs at pharmacies around the country, reported The New York Times. The discounts average one-third off the list price. Some of the drugs that will be part of the program are Crestor, which lowers cholesterol, and some brands of insulin. Overall, there are 40 products on the list.

Life Expectancy Disparities in the US

Depending on the county, life expectancy in the United States can look very different. According to The Washington Post, life expectancy is greatest in the middle of Colorado, where people in some counties can expect to live more than 85 years, and lowest in nearby South Dakota, where some counties reported a life expectancy of 67 years. While income and exercise impact longevity, so did access to healthcare, and the study implies that the country needs to reconsider how it delivers care.

Duchenne Drug Gets $35K Price Tag

Before Marathon sold its drug to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, it had set a $89,000 list price, and the new owner promised a lower price tag. PTC Therapeutics has announced the annual price for Emflaza will be $35,000. Despite the lower price, the drug has been available overseas for as low as $1000 a year, and RBC Capital Markets had estimated the price from PTC would actually be $10,000 lower. In addition, since the treatment is based on patient weight, the cost will be more for patients who weigh more.