What we're reading, May 17, 2016: prices for opioid overdose drug are soaring; Valeant expands discounts for heart drugs; and 41% of Republicans want to replace the Affordable Care Act with a single-payer system.
Drug price hikes are becoming all too familiar. Now, the price of naloxone, which is used to reverse an opioid overdose, is soaring, according to POLITICO. The Obama administration and Congress are pushing to make the drug more widely available, but over the last 2 years, the prices of some versions of naloxone have risen 17-fold. Despite the fact that new competitors have entered the market and there are now 5 versions available, prices continue to rise.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals is expanding discounts for a pair of heart drugs that had their prices raised after being purchased in April 2015. Hospitals will be eligible for a rebate ranging from 10% to 40% based on the volume of drugs bought, reported The Wall Street Journal. The announcement comes after Valeant came under heavy fire and faced questions from a Senate committee after raising the prices of Nitropress and Isuprel by 212% and 525%.
A surprisingly high percentage of Republicans are in favor of replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with a single-payer system, or a federally funded program. According to The Washington Post, More than half of all Americans, including 41% of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents, approve of a single-payer system, though it might be because their views of the ACA are so strongly negative that replacing it with anything seems appealing. As for Democrats, nearly 8 in 10 want to keep the ACA, but a large number of them would love a single-payer system.