drugs

A Decade Marked By Outrage Over Drug Prices

Dec 31, 2019

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., was in the middle of describing drug price gouging as a scheme to enrich a few industry executives at the expense of everyday patients when he stopped to reprimand a witness.

"It's not funny, Mr. Shkreli," said Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform until his death this past October, to a smirking man at the table before him. "People are dying. And they're getting sicker and sicker."

Congress is set to pass a $1.4 trillion spending package this week, which President Trump has said he'll sign. The legislation includes policy changes and funding increases that public health advocates are celebrating, as well as the permanent repeal of three key taxes that were designed to pay for Obamacare — a win for industry groups.

Two former Major League Baseball stars, pitcher Octavio Dotel and infielder Luis Castillo, have been implicated in a massive drug trafficking bust in the Dominican Republic. The country's attorney general, Jean Alain Rodríguez, announced Tuesday that the operation targeted alleged drug kingpin César Emilio Peralta, also known as "César the abuser," and the extensive criminal operation he led.

Louis Morano knows what he needs, and he knows where to get it.

Morano, 29, has done seven stints in rehab for opioid addiction in the past 15 years. So, he has come to a mobile medical clinic parked on a corner of Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood, in the geographical heart of the city's overdose crisis. People call the mobile clinic the "bupe bus."

Chris Landsberger / The Oklahoman

The opioid trial of The State of Oklahoma v. Johnson & Johnson wrapped up recently, and its outcome could have ramifications on a national scale. If the state prevails, Johnson and Johnson could have to spend billions to help ease the epidemic in Oklahoma. The verdict could be handed down later this summer, so until then we must wait.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

The number of cases of children entering the foster care system due to parental drug use has more than doubled since 2000, according to research published this week in JAMA Pediatrics.

The Trump administration has dropped one of the meatiest portions of its plan to reduce drug prices.

The Department of Health and Human Services said it will no longer pursue a rule that would have prohibited the payment of certain rebates on drugs in Medicare Part D and Medicaid plans.

The idea was to target the middlemen, pharmacy benefit managers, whose negotiations with drugmakers and insurers influence the costs consumers pay for drugs.

Copyright 2019 NCPR. To see more, visit NCPR.

NOEL KING, HOST:

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about a win for supporters of a ballot initiative petition on Medicaid Expansion when the state Supreme Court ruled it could move forward, the fate of $85M in an opioid settlement with Teva Pharmaceuticals awaits a judges ruling and Oklahoma City passes an ordinance allowing for an amnesty period for past due parking offenses and low level offenders.

Pages