What We're Reading: Drug Imports; Insurers See ACA Profits; Alzheimer's Forecast

How counties, cities, and schools are saving money by importing drugs for employees; insurers are finally turning a profit on their Obamacare plans; new report projects the number of Americans with Alzheimer's disease will more than double by 2060.

Sidestepping FDA’s Crackdown on Drug Imports

Some cities, counties, and schools are saving money by importing medicines from pharmacies in Canada and other countries. Kaiser Health News reported that counties and cities are importing drugs for employees and saving 20% on prescription drugs. One city has saved so much that employees have access to 90-day supplies of brand-name drugs for free. There are companies that vet the overseas pharmacies to sell brand-name products, but not drugs that are available as generics, to counties, cities, schools, and even private companies. A 90-day supply of diabetes drug Januvia can be purchased for $83 after being imported from England, which is far less than the $423 price tag in the United States.

Insurers Are Finally Turning Profits on ACA Plans

Even as Republicans look to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurers are finally seeing profits on their ACA plans. However, they are turning profits after having steeply increased the average premium, according to Politico. An analysis found that insurers spent about 78% of ACA premium revenues on medical claims over the first 9 months of 2017, which is better than in previous years. During the same time last year, more than 90% of premium revenues went to medical claims. However, nearly half of all counties in the United States are still offering just 1 ACA insurer.

Report Forecasts Increase in Alzheimer’s Disease

By 2060, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment is forecasted to more than double. Currently, 6 million adults have Alzheimer’s or mild cognitive impairment, and that number is expected to increase to 15 million, based on a new methodology, reported the National Institutes of Health. This new forecast used a different model to forecast the prevalence of the conditions. Scientists attempted to identify people with biomarkers or evidence of preclinical Alzheimer’s disease.