pharmaceuticals

Flurry of Federal and State Probes Target Insulin Drugmakers and Pharma Middlemen

Nov 4, 2017

With the price of a crucial diabetes drug skyrocketing, at least five states and a federal prosecutor are demanding information from insulin manufacturers and the pharmaceutical industry’s financial middlemen, seeking answers about their business relationships and the soaring price of diabetes drugs.

Pressure Mounts On Insurers To Examine Role In Opioid Crisis

Oct 20, 2017

A prominent Democratic lawmaker has asked major health insurers whether their policies and preferred prescription drug lists have made the nation’s opioid epidemic worse.

Insurers Restrict Access To Pricey, Less Addictive Painkillers

Sep 25, 2017

This story was co-published with The New York Times.

At a time when the United States is in the grip of an opioid epidemic, many insurers are limiting access to pain medications that carry a lower risk of addiction or dependence, even as they provide comparatively easy access to generic opioid medications.

The attorneys general of 41 U.S. states said Tuesday that they're banding together to investigate the makers and distributors of powerful opioid painkillers that have, over the past decade, led to a spike in opiate addictions and overdose deaths.

Without Price Breaks, Rural Hospitals Struggle To Stock Lifesaving Drugs

Sep 18, 2017
Sarah Jane Tribble / Kaiser Health News

Hospital pharmacist Mandy Langston remembers when Lulabelle Berry arrived at Stone County Medical Center’s emergency department last year.

Berry couldn’t talk. Her face was drooping on one side. Her eyes couldn’t focus.

“She was basically unresponsive,” Langston recalls.

Diabetics Protest Rising Insulin Prices At Drug Company Headquarters

Sep 11, 2017
Jill Sheridan / Indiana Public Broadcasting

More than half a million Hoosiers have been diagnosed with diabetes, and many of them rely on insulin to live healthy lives. But patients say the skyrocketing price of the medicine —which more than doubled from 2002 to 2013 — is squeezing them to the point of outrage.

Jake Harper / Side Effects Public Media

Philip Kirby says he first used heroin during a stint in a halfway house a few years ago, when he was 21 years old. He quickly formed a habit.

"You can't really dabble in it," he says.


Lee Huffaker / ProPublica

The box of prescription drugs had been forgotten in a back closet of a retail pharmacy for so long that some of the pills predated the 1969 moon landing. Most were 30 to 40 years past their expiration dates — possibly toxic, probably worthless.

Peter Balonon-Rosen/IPBS

This week, Side Effects Public Media released a report detailing how the president of an Indiana nonprofit is also lobbying for a drug company, Alkermes. The story, produced in collaboration with WFYI and NPR, has some political leaders in Indiana calling for stricter disclosure rules for lobbyists trying to influence policy. 

 

Every week in Des Moines, Iowa, the employees of a small nonprofit collect bins of unexpired prescription drugs tossed out by nursing homes after residents died, moved out or no longer needed them. The drugs are given to patients who couldn't otherwise afford them.

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