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New Study Says That Multiple Sclerosis Drug Prices Rose at an ‘Alarming’ Rate

There has been an “alarming rise” in the cost of multiple sclerosis treatments over the past dozen years and the cost of these drugs increased at rates well beyond the overall growth in prescription drug prices, according to a new study. The study found that costs for three older medicines, which were launched between 1993 and 1996, rose by statistically significant amounts after a new type of treatment became available in 2002. And a similar pattern of rising costs continued as still newer medications were approved by regulators between 2010 and 2013, according to the study, which appears in the Neurology medical journal. The study also compared prices paid by Medicaid, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and government purchasers in Canada, the U.K. and Australia. What was the upshot? Although Medicaid receives discounts, the costs for the multiple sclerosis treatments were often more than 70 percent lower in those countries than what was paid by Medicaid. The Department of Veterans Affairs, meanwhile, paid 36 percent less, on average, than Medicaid. The findings are the latest attempt to track rising costs for prescription medicines, a hot-button issue in the ongoing debate over the cost of health care. Until now, the discussion has largely focused on treatments for Hepatitis C, and cancer, as well some generic drugs. Bourdette says this is the first effort of its kind by neurologists to highlight the upward trend in multiple sclerosis drug costs. Read more.

Source: Wall Street Journal

David Wingate is an elder law attorney practicing in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland. The elder law practice consists of powers of attorneys, wills, trusts, asset protection and Medicaid.

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