CTNJ: CT needs to focus on real health reform

Connecticut insurance premiums were the sixth highest among states for both individual and family coverage in 2019. Making healthcare more affordable was the drumbeat from voters last year. But CT policymakers have responded with weak options that kick the can down the road. Controlling the drivers of health costs is advanced placement politics. Powerful industries…

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OP-ED | Controversial New Alzheimer’s Drug Could Break the Bank

Alzheimer’s disease affects six million Americans, stealing memories years before it takes lives. Aduhelm, the first drug intended to treat the Alzheimer’s disease process rather than symptoms, was highly anticipated by patients and families. But it has disappointed on many levels. It isn’t clear that it actually helps patients and troubling side effects are common.…

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BOOK CLUB — The Right Price: A Value-Based Prescription for Drug Costs

For your summer reading. The Right Price: A Value-Based Prescription for Drug Costs offers the best explanation I’ve found of how drug costs are set, and how they should be. Using real-life patient stories, the authors give a balanced and comprehensive look at fair and reasonable pricing for a product that epitomizes market failure. The…

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ANALYSIS | Who In Health Care Made Money on COVID?

Many COVID heroes who put their lives at risk or died caring for others. We all owe healthcare providers, scientists, public health professionals, and other frontline workers a huge debt of gratitude. But the healthcare industries did just fine. Four of the ten companies that profited most during the pandemic are in healthcare. Read more

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CT ‘deaths of despair’ high and rising faster than other states

In 2019 per capita, Connecticut had 19% more deaths due to  alcohol, drugs or suicide and these deaths of despair increased over four times faster than the US average, according to a new report from the Trust for America’s Health. Connecticut’s rates of drug-induced deaths were largely responsible at 58% higher than the US average.…

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JAMA highlights CT bill to limit extreme drug price increases

A recent JAMA article highlights bills to reduce drug price increases across states, including Connecticut’s bill. The bills call for clawing back 80% of drug price increases over inflation plus 2% — a healthy profit that many industries would happily welcome. Other states also considering bills include Massachusetts, Maine, Washington, and Hawaii; more are expected…

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CTNJ: OP-ED | Drug Affordability Requires Limits On Price Gouging

Jay Gironimi has cystic fibrosis and he is grateful for the drugs that help him live. But he disagrees with the Epilepsy Foundation’s opinion piece that defends extreme drug price hikes. “While the drugs are saving lives today, the profit margins are slowly tanking the entire US healthcare system.” Read more

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Response: Lobbyist uses seniors and people with disabilities to protect drug company profits

Reading William Smith’s CT Mirror opinion, I was worried that my state had passed draconian laws that were harming the health of seniors and people with disabilities. Thankfully, that isn’t the case. Our anti-discrimination laws are still in place and functioning. . . . True discrimination against seniors and people with disabilities happens every day…

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HUSKY COVID update – new enrollments lag, lots of money to providers, and telehealth is very popular

At Friday’s Medicaid Council meeting, we learned that while new HUSKY applications recovered last fall from its drop last spring, they fell again sharply this January and February. The reasons for the volatility during a serious recession are unclear. DSS focused on how HUSKY has responded to the COVID pandemic. Now covering over a million…

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Opinion: Innovation isn’t helpful if we can’t afford it

In today’s CT Mirror, Jay Gironimi rebuts an opinion supporting the pharmaceutical industry and explains how extreme drug prices are hurting patients. Jay is supporting the Governor’s bill to tax excessive drug price increases years after the companies have recovered their research costs. Jay has Cystic Fibrosis and needs 10-12 medications daily so he can…

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