By Anne Michaud
For those who believe in the Affordable Care Act’s promise of more humane coverage for more people, the recent news about drug costs is discouraging.
The most effective drugs for some of the most serious diseases — cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, asthma, mental illness — can cost individuals who can least afford it thousands of dollars a month in copays. In some cases, desperate people are going without the medicines that could save their lives.
If insurers are allowed to price certain therapies out of reach — through a complicated system of formularies, tiers and classes — the practice could spread beyond ACA health care exchanges.
“It’s uncharted territory,” said Wayne Turner, staff attorney for the National Health Law Program, which has filed a formal complaint about Florida’s HIV/AIDS coverage. “The insurance industry has been able to exercise a great deal of discretion” over drug coverage. Read the full article here. »