Stiff rise in generic drug prices prompts probe by members of Congress

The prices have increased by more than 1,000 percent for some of the drugs. In other news about treatments, a study finds robotic surgery may not improve care for ovarian problems and the National Cancer Institute laments that insurers' concerns about cost are keeping some patients from proton therapy trials.

The New York Times: Officials Question The Rising Costs Of Generic Drugs
The price of some generic drugs have soared more than 1,000 percent in the last year, and federal officials are demanding that generic drug makers explain the reasons for the increases or potentially face new regulation (Rosenthal, 10/7).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Study: Robotic Surgery More Costly For Ovarian Problems
A study published today in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology suggests that robot-assisted surgeries to remove ovaries or ovarian cysts were more expensive and had more complications than traditional minimally invasive surgeries (Hernandez, 10/7).

Philadelphia Inquirer: Insurance Debate Snares Prostate Study
More than a decade after prostate cancer became the economic driver behind proton beam therapy in the U.S., it still isn't clear that men treated with the technology do better than those who get less costly radiation treatments. That's why expert groups have recently advised against insurance coverage of proton therapy for prostate cancer -- and why some private plans are refusing to pay for it. The Catch-22 is that this pullback is hampering a clinical trial co-led by the University of Pennsylvania that would finally settle the question of superiority. The sponsor of the study, the National Cancer Institute, last month wrote a letter urging insurers to cover patients in proton therapy trials, saying "timely completion is critical as more and more centers are beginning to offer proton beam therapy, particularly for prostate cancer" (McCullough, 10/7).

Related KHN coverage: Insurers Hesitant To Cover Many Proton Beam Therapy Treatments (Andrews, 9/23).


http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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